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house Bill H.R. 1492

Should Licensed Doctors be Allowed to Carry and Administer Controlled Substances Outside of Their Home State?

Argument in favor

This bill clarifies rules to allow traveling physicians to transport and administer controlled substances when traveling outside the state they’re registered in.

Randy's Opinion
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07/11/2017
As a doctor practicing for 30 years, I sometimes have patients who then move to other states and have a hard time finding Physicians there. I am a psychiatrist and there is a national shortage of psychiatrists. In fact we are allowed to prescribe in certain circumstances in other states and this has been life-saving for some of my patients. I am not talking about opiates, which I don't prescribe, I'm talking about virtually all other medications, some of which are controlled such as benzodiazepines which my patients with epilepsy often require long-term to stay seizure free. To "carry and administer" medicine, not so much, but to sanction our ability to prescribe across state lines, absolutely.
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Danae's Opinion
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07/11/2017
There are some controlled-substance prescriptions, such as those for ADHD that can only be refilled on the day the previous prescription runs out. If the patient happens to be out of state during that narrow window of time, they cannot refill their prescriptions, and it is harmful to the patient to suddenly drop the medication. This is a common problem for business travelers and college students.
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Hockeygirl's Opinion
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07/11/2017
After hurricane Katrina and the flood of last year, I understand the need for this bill. Many doctors cross borders to assist after natural disasters. This would benefit the many people who are evacuated to shelters as well as free up essential resources that have to be utilized for these patients to receive their medications. I also get the impression this bill may also be geared towards paramedics and other EMS personnel transporting patients out of their state of registry, being able to practice under their states standing orders without having to obtain permission from a medical director.
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Argument opposed

The DEA and federal regulators should only allow doctors to transport and administer controlled substances in the state they’re registered in.

Robert's Opinion
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07/11/2017
My wife is a physician and she says no. She's pretty much always right. At least that's what I tell her.
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operaman's Opinion
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07/11/2017
I'm almost positive this is a bad idea. Doctors have a state license for a reason. If they feel the need to prescribe for out of state patients, take the state board. What would prevent a MD from prescribing 600 opioids in Montana while keeping a normal practice in New Mexico? Hollywood would be calling for a professional MD visit. Medical practice in one state with profits from opioids in other states. Say hello to Ohio and their opiates deaths. Has anyone asked for Dr Kevorkian's opinion? And Tears for those traveling sports doctors. Just tell the jocks to buy their own opioids at the local Night Club. What now, Doctors standing at airports holding placards reading "I prescribe Opioids."
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Rachael's Opinion
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07/11/2017
It would further allow the distribution of opiates.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1492?

This bill would create a registration process at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which allows physicians and practitioners to transport and administer controlled substances to patients outside of the state they’re registered in. It would establish a process within the DEA that allows physicians to register for the purpose of transporting and administering controlled outside their home state.

Under current law, travelling practitioners (like doctors for athletic teams) are prohibited from transporting or administering controlled substances (such as many pain medications) outside of the state they’re registered in.

Impact

Patients in need of controlled substances; doctors who are outside their registration state; and the DEA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1492

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced this bill to clarify rules related to transporting and administering controlled substances for traveling physicians:

“As we have seen in the news lately, the rules for traveling physicians are not clearly defined. I am working to provide necessary guidance to clarify the requirements of physicians whose jobs inherently require transporting controlled substances. In addition to providing much needed clarity, this measure will also increase oversight to ensure physicians are appropriately administering controlled substances to their patients. I believe this is an extremely important issue for all doctors, sports doctors in particular, and this bill will provide them with the opportunity to provide their athletes and patients with much needed medical care under the authority of the DEA.”

This legislation was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a voice vote.


Of Note: The NCAA, the primary governing body for college athletics, released a guidance for member institutions who have physicians traveling with teams across state lines to clear up confusion surrounding state and federal laws. DEA regulations only allow controlled substances to be prescribed, stored and dispensed from locations cleared with the agency. So in the NCAA's case, athletic trainers or team doctors at member schools could be accused of violating the law by transporting and administering controlled substances outside of their home state.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Air Force / Public Domain)

AKA

Medical Controlled Substances Transportation Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Controlled Substances Act to direct the Attorney General to register practitioners to transport controlled substances to States in which the practitioner is not registered under the Act for the purpose of administering the substances (under applicable State law) at locations other than principal places of business or professional practice.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed July 12th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 416 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedMarch 10th, 2017

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    As a doctor practicing for 30 years, I sometimes have patients who then move to other states and have a hard time finding Physicians there. I am a psychiatrist and there is a national shortage of psychiatrists. In fact we are allowed to prescribe in certain circumstances in other states and this has been life-saving for some of my patients. I am not talking about opiates, which I don't prescribe, I'm talking about virtually all other medications, some of which are controlled such as benzodiazepines which my patients with epilepsy often require long-term to stay seizure free. To "carry and administer" medicine, not so much, but to sanction our ability to prescribe across state lines, absolutely.
    Like (123)
    Follow
    Share
    My wife is a physician and she says no. She's pretty much always right. At least that's what I tell her.
    Like (82)
    Follow
    Share
    There are some controlled-substance prescriptions, such as those for ADHD that can only be refilled on the day the previous prescription runs out. If the patient happens to be out of state during that narrow window of time, they cannot refill their prescriptions, and it is harmful to the patient to suddenly drop the medication. This is a common problem for business travelers and college students.
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    After hurricane Katrina and the flood of last year, I understand the need for this bill. Many doctors cross borders to assist after natural disasters. This would benefit the many people who are evacuated to shelters as well as free up essential resources that have to be utilized for these patients to receive their medications. I also get the impression this bill may also be geared towards paramedics and other EMS personnel transporting patients out of their state of registry, being able to practice under their states standing orders without having to obtain permission from a medical director.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm almost positive this is a bad idea. Doctors have a state license for a reason. If they feel the need to prescribe for out of state patients, take the state board. What would prevent a MD from prescribing 600 opioids in Montana while keeping a normal practice in New Mexico? Hollywood would be calling for a professional MD visit. Medical practice in one state with profits from opioids in other states. Say hello to Ohio and their opiates deaths. Has anyone asked for Dr Kevorkian's opinion? And Tears for those traveling sports doctors. Just tell the jocks to buy their own opioids at the local Night Club. What now, Doctors standing at airports holding placards reading "I prescribe Opioids."
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    Medicine does not know state boundaries
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    If we are one country, there should be one nationally recognized MD degree and all the responsibilities that come with it. Sickness has no arbitrary boundaries; doctors shouldn't have them, either.
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    The question is not this simple, however greater liberty in the ability of a doctor to treat their patient is definitely for the best in a country which views illness of its citizens purely as a profit vector for insurance companies. This would allow genuinely humane doctors to occasionally do their important work. We should also make sure that all of Congress and their families enjoy exactly the same medical coverage as our veterans and senior citizens. EXACTLY the same.
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    It would further allow the distribution of opiates.
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    If I move someplace for the winter , it would be great to keep my own doctor of 20 years instead of starting over with another doctor.I suffer from chronic medical issues
    Like (15)
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    I go back to this is a States rights issue. If the state the doctor is visiting allows it then no problem, if not, too bad. Let the States decide.
    Like (13)
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    The more a DR can prescribe drugs outside the greater the risk for increased abuse. We need more control over prescriptions and abuse.
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    Legal in many states, remove the conflict for a substance that clearly should not be schedule 1.
    Like (12)
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    This may help to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs. My fear is that this is not abused by Jeff Sessions to crack down on Medical Marijuana, but it appears to be worded that the administration of the controlled substances is per state laws. I support this bill unless it has loopholes for abuse of power in the war on drugs.
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    Very important for folks who need medical care that is inaccessible in their home state.
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    No. There's no viable reason that a doctor should be able to carry or prescribe drugs outside his or her home state. That's just asking for more widespread prescription drug addiction.
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    The last thing we need to be doing is arresting doctors for carrying medicine across state lines that their patients need.
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    Im a physician, I have no need for this.
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    If state law allows a physician to prescribe and administer why is this a problem? If you live in a border town say between Texas and Arkansas do you only practice in one state if you have two offices one in each state? It's a foolish limitation.
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    As a long-term (20+ yrs) sufferer of SEVERE chronic pain, I have had to organize my entire life around being "home" to see my Pain Mgmnt Phys for monthly refills of necessary pain meds that currently cannot be refilled over the phone, out of state or any other way but in person at my Doc's office. I understand the desire to prevent abusive practices by drug seeking patients and greedy physicians willing to risk their licenses to make an extra buck. Nonetheless, the pendulum has swung too far with respect to preventing abuse versus access for real patients who already suffer enough without having to make it a monumentally painstaking job just to get the proper meds each month. I am in favor of any effort to allow Doctors and patients to have easier access to proper treatment and if this is the first step then so be it. You can't imagine what life is like when I have a sudden illness or death in the family and can't leave right away bc I have to figure out how to get the meds I'll need while I'm gone but the law won't allow my Doc to prescribe early and I can't fill an out of state prescription even at the same Pharmacy chain I use in my home state. I can't ever take advantage of any spontaneous opportunities unless I just got my meds filled and have enough to last. Vacations (not that I can afford them with the cost of prescription drugs) have to carefully plannes and family holiday visits often get cut short bc I have to return home for my monthly appointment. Then there is the headache of hoping my pharmacy has my meds in stock bc they aren't allowed to order more than what their average monthly dispension has been so if one new patient shows up at my pharmacy with a prescription for the same medication, someone is going to get left out and have to go on a wild goose chase to try and find a pharmacy that has my meds in stock. Imagine being in horrific pain, barely able to walk and then going to 6 different pharmacies over 7 hrs only to come up empty handed, stressed out and in a pain crisis knowing I still have to do it all over again the next day
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