Monday, May 24, 2010

Dr. Johnson Warns HB206 Could Lead to Rx Drug Abuse

Dr. Terry Johnson [has] commented on the recently approved House Bill 206, which will give certain Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) the authority to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances.

Dr. Johnson, a candidate for State Representative in Ohio’s 89th District, warned that the bill could seriously hamper efforts to stop prescription drug abuse.

“Prescription drug abuse has been destroying lives in southern Ohio for too long,” Dr. Johnson said. “H.B. 206 gives almost 4,000 new people the ability to prescribe these drugs. This is the absolute wrong time to do this. While I have tremendous respect for Advanced Practice Nurses and value them as colleagues, the reality is that we have enough trouble trying to keep an eye on all the prescribers we have now. If we start giving more people the power to hand out these drugs, this problem could go from bad to worse.”

Dr. Johnson is among the leading voices in the fight against prescription drug abuse. Since becoming County Coroner in 2002, he began tracking the number of prescription drug overdoses in Scioto County and educating the public about how bad the problem has become.

“Right now, there aren’t any physicians in the statehouse, and this issue underscores why it is so important to change that,” Dr. Johnson said. “I’m sure our lawmakers had the best of intentions with this bill, but unfortunately they just don’t understand how their decisions are affecting southern Ohio. If I’m elected to the Statehouse, I’ll make sure the needs and the problems of southern Ohio are strongly represented and understood.”

Jon Wills, director of the Ohio Osteopathic Association, has also warned lawmakers about the potential impact of the bill. In a letter sent to members of the Ohio House, Wills wrote that it “makes no sense to add an additional 4,000 Schedule II prescribers,” and that it was not in the public interest to “indiscriminately expand the availability of Schedule II prescribing.”