The Journal Gazette
Thursday, February 25, 2016 10:03 pm

Bill advances to have VA work with Rx monitoring

Journal Gazette

A U.S. House committee advanced legislation Thursday containing a provision prompted by an investigation of drug purchases by the Veterans Affairs medical center in Marion.

The House Veterans Affairs’ Committee approved a bill that included an amendment requiring VA facilities to participate in state prescription drug monitoring programs.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, introduced the proposal in December after the federal Drug Enforcement Agency began investigating purchases of painkilling drugs by the VA medical center in Marion.

The language of Walorski’s bill was amended Thursday into another bill that would update VA guidelines and training for prescribing opioids to patients. 

Walorski told the committee, of which she is a member, that her proposal "treats VA doctors the same as any other doctors and will significantly improve the tracking and coordination of prescription drugs. These databases have proven effective in preventing drug abuse and diversion and in reducing doctor shopping" by patients. 

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