HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4554        FILED ON: 2/24/2016

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4062

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Paul McMurtry

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire

Evandro C. Carvalho

5th Suffolk

Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk

Claire D. Cronin

11th Plymouth

Michael S. Day

31st Middlesex

Angelo L. D'Emilia

8th Plymouth

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

Paul J. Donato

35th Middlesex

Eileen M. Donoghue

First Middlesex

Michelle M. DuBois

10th Plymouth

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

John V. Fernandes

10th Worcester

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Carole A. Fiola

6th Bristol

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Paul R. Heroux

2nd Bristol

Steven S. Howitt

4th Bristol

Daniel J. Hunt

13th Suffolk

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Robert M. Koczera

11th Bristol

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Barbara A. L'Italien

Second Essex and Middlesex

James J. Lyons, Jr.

18th Essex

Timothy R. Madden

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

Frank A. Moran

17th Essex

David K. Muradian, Jr.

9th Worcester

Shaunna L. O'Connell

3rd Bristol

William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Elizabeth A. Poirier

14th Bristol

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

John H. Rogers

12th Norfolk

Jeffrey N. Roy

10th Norfolk

Michael F. Rush

Norfolk and Suffolk

Daniel J. Ryan

2nd Suffolk

Alan Silvia

7th Bristol

Bruce E. Tarr

First Essex and Middlesex

Walter F. Timilty

7th Norfolk

Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex

RoseLee Vincent

16th Suffolk

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4554        FILED ON: 2/24/2016

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4062

By Mr. McMurtry of Dedham, a petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Paul McMurtry and others relative to benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics.  Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Eighty-Ninth General Court
(2015-2016)

_______________

 

An Act relative to benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 94C of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “Agent” the following definition:-

“Benzodiazepine”, any substance or drug which contains a benzene ring fused to a 7 member diazepine ring, results in the depression of the central nervous system and is primarily intended to treat insomnia, convulsions and anxiety, and used for muscle relaxation and pre-operation treatment including alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, and temazepam.

SECTION 2. Said section 1 of said chapter 94C, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of “Narcotic drug” the following definition:-

“Non-benzodiazepine hypnotic”, any substance or drug which produces effects similar to that of a benzodiazepine and is primarily intended to treat insomnia, including zaleplon, zopiclone, and zolpidem.

SECTION 3. Said chapter 94C is hereby amended by inserting after section 19C, as inserted by section 92 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2015, the following section:-

Section 19D. The department of public health shall promulgate regulations establishing protocols to safely discontinue the use of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics and minimize the patient’s symptoms of withdrawal; provided however, that the department shall not mandate that a patient currently prescribed benzodiazepines or non-benzodiazepine hypnotics discontinue use. No practitioner shall discontinue a patient’s prescription of a benzodiazepine or a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic in a manner inconsistent with the regulations established by the department of public health.

SECTION 4. The first paragraph of section 21 of said chapter 94C, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:-

In filling a prescription for a benzodiazepine or a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic prescription, the pharmacist shall ensure that the label includes a cautionary statement explaining the risks associated with long-term use which shall be bolded and contained within a box.

SECTION 5. Said section 21 of said chapter 94C of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the third paragraph the following paragraph:-

The department of public health shall produce and distribute either in written or electronic form to pharmacies, not including institutional pharmacies, pamphlets for consumers relative to benzodiazepines and  non-benzodiazepine hypnotics that includes educational information about: (i) misuse and abuse by adults and children; (ii) risk of dependency and addiction; (iii) proper storage and disposal; (iv) addiction support and treatment resources; and (v) the telephone helpline operated by the bureau of substance abuse services established in section 18 of chapter 17. A pharmacist shall distribute the pamphlet when dispensing a benzodiazepines or a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic.

SECTION 6. Section 23 of said chapter 94C, as so appearing is hereby amended by adding the following 2 subsections:-

(i) A written prescription for less than a 10 day supply of a benzodiazepine or a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic shall not be refilled.

(j) A written prescription for a benzodiazepine or a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic shall be written on brightly colored paper and shall include a cautionary statement explaining the risk of dependency and addiction.

SECTION 8. Chapter 112 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 12EE the following section:-

Section 12FF. No practitioner shall prescribe a benzodiazepine or a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, as defined in section 1 of chapter 94C, without first obtaining the patient’s written informed consent. The commissioner of public health shall prescribe a form for physicians to use in obtaining such consent. This form shall be written in a manner designed to permit a person unfamiliar with medical terminology to understand its purpose and content, and shall include the following information: (i) misuse and abuse by adults and children; (ii) risk of dependency and addiction; and (iii) risks associated with long-term use of the drugs.

Nothing in this section is intended to abolish or limit any common law rights of persons other than those whose rights it governs for the purpose of any civil action.