Senate Legislation


Senate Bill 221 – (Greenleaf):  Prohibits the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. SB 1144 passed the Senate (49-0) on May 11,2016, and is now before the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 391 – (Costa): Senate Bill 391 amends the Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA) giving families the opportunity to seek involuntary commitments of loved ones for treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. While Pa law currently allows for involuntary commitment of those diagnosed with a mental illness, the current statute does not consider substance abuse disorder as a mental disorder. Amending the Mental Health Procedures Act will provide authority for a spouse, relative or guardian to petition for the involuntary commitment of an individual for treatment purposes. Under the proposed law, families could petition their county administrator to determine whether an individual suffers from addiction and is a threat to themselves or others.

Senate Bill 418 – (Rafferty): Requires pharmacy technicians to register annually with the State Board of Pharmacy and be required to submit a criminal history background check. This legislation also provides that pharmacy technicians must complete a board-approved training program for pharmacy technicians and also beat least 17 years of age.

Senate Bill 419 – (Yaw): Requires county coroner’s and/or medical examiner’s in the state to report in writing to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) the death of any person resulting from a drug overdose, giving the time and place of the death and the related circumstances.

Senate Bill 533 – (Schwank): The State’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will be charged with establishing the Emergency Addiction Treatment Program that will offer new addiction treatment facilities for those drug users that are currently going without care. The facilities will either be existing long-term residential addiction treatment facilities, licensed halfway homes, or new facilities. The program will also include new intake methods to provide information to those with addiction problems or their family and friends, advice and assistance in accessing treatment, arid data collection to help identify patterns of addiction.

Senate Bill 534 – (Costa):  Requires that an assessment be imposed on the first sale of opioids within the state by manufactures or importers. The law will prohibit the assessment from being passed onto the retail level, in addition to the treatment and education programs proposed in separate legislation, the revenue from the assessment will be used to support the purchase of naloxone by local law enforcement and emergency management personnel and to support existing county addiction prevention and treatment programs.

Senate Bill 535 – (Dinniman):  Creates the School Aged Children Opioid Awareness Education Program. The Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, and Education will be required to work cooperatively to design a request for proposals for organizations that can provide opioid awareness education programs to be delivered in schools.

Senate Bill 644 – (Rafferty): Prohibits an authorized seller or distributor of a Schedule II drug from accepting a prescription order from a person not personally known to him unless he obtains a printed name, signature and address of the person who submits the prescription order.

Senate Bill 640 – (Rafferty): Establishes an official state prescription form for distribution by the Secretary’ of Health for use by medical professionals authorized to prescribe drugs. These forms will be serially numbered and non-transferable and would be required for use by a medical professional when prescribing any Schedule 11, III or IV prescription drug.

Senate Bill 674 – (Rafferty): Implements automatic scheduling changes for controlled substances in Pennsylvania in coordination with a proposed federal scheduling change. Automatic scheduling would occur sixty days after such change occurs on the federal level.

Senate Bill 710 – (Brewster): A person charged with a minor non-violent criminal offense (misdemeanor one and lower) who has been treated by first responders in emergency situations can be subject to mandatory commitment to a treatment facility if its is determined that he or she is addicted and believed to be a danger to himself or herself or others. The person charged, his or her attorney, or the district attorney will initiate the mandatory treatment procedure. A hearing would be held within 10 days of arrest to ascertain whether the person can be involuntarily treated. The initial period of treatment would be 12 months. If the person successfully completes treatment then the underlying criminal charges may be dismissed.

Senate Bill 711 – (Brewster): This proposal would prohibit opioid prescriptions of more than 100 milligrams of morphine or the equivalent each day. This portion of the plan mirrors a law now in force in Maine that restricts opioid prescriptions and builds on guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state medical board guidelines. The CDC indicated that patients receiving prescriptions in higher levels than those specified in the guidelines are linked to patient harm and represent a disproportionate share of overdoses.

Senate Bill 712 – (Brewster): This is directly aimed at drug dealers who illegally possess guns. The measure restores strict sentences for armed drug dealers previously invalidated by the courts. The proposal stiffens penalties for those possession both large quantities of drugs and illegal weapons. Sentences are enhanced by one grade if the individual is convicted of dealing while illegally possessing a weapon.

Co-sponsorship Memo – (Brewster): Creates the Addiction Treatment Professional Loan Forgiveness Program which will offer qualified alcohol and drug addiction counselors student loan forgiveness up to $7,500 per year for up to four years, totaling up to $30,000. The counselor must agree to work at a licensed drug and alcohol treatment facility for at least 4 years.

Co-sponsorship Memo – (Yaw): Requires that insurance plans provide access to abuse deterrent opioid analgesic drugs, and apply cost-sharing provisions for these products at the same level as the cost-sharing applied to other brand name and generic drugs covered under the insurance plans’ formularies.

Co-sponsorship Memo − (Greenleaf): Provides for a comprehensive pre-release plan for inmates with substance use disorders to assure transition to a wide range of integrated reentry services; educating and training government-funded professionals (i.e., law enforcement, criminal justice personnel) who come into contact with individuals engaged in risky substance use, and healthcare professionals in addressing risky substance use and addiction; requiring treatment programs and providers to utilize evidence-based prevention and treatment approaches; and requiring insurers to provide coverage for screening. brief intervention, and referral to treatment —an effective method to intervene in alcohol and drug misuse. The measure also provides that a defendant, at the time of arraignment, shall undergo screening for substance abuse and addiction.At the time of setting bail, the court may include drug and alcohol treatment as a condition of bail. In addition, the bill establishes continuing education requirements to train licensees (i.e., physicians, psychiatrists) on the best practices of prescribing controlled substances.

Enacted Legislation

2016 Act 122 – Safe Emergency Prescribing ActProviding for limitations on the dispensing of opioid drug products in hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers and to patients in observation status and for duties of the Department of Health; and imposing a penalty.

2016 Act 125: An Act amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in public safety, providing for prescribing opioids to minors; imposing powers and duties on certain Commonwealth agencies and on the Legislative Reference Bureau; and imposing penalties

2016 Act 126: An Act amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in public safety, providing for safe opioid prescription and for patient voluntary nonopioid directive and imposing powers and duties on certain Commonwealth agencies.

House Legislation


House Bill 1378 – (DiGirolamo) PN 1730:  Establishes the Emergency Addiction Treatment Program and the Opioid Reparation and Accountability Fund to better assist individuals with drug and alcohol addictions.

House Resolution 363 – (Caltagirone) PN 1882:  Urges the Governor & Attorney General to file a lawsuit against Pharmaceutical Companies responsible for causing the Opioid Crisis.

House Bill 288 – (Heffley) PN 282: Requires insurance plans in the Commonwealth to provide access to abuse deterrent opioids.

House Bill 597 – (Gainey) PN 723: Prohibits the issuance of prescriptions for extended release long-acting opioid analgesics in a non-abuse deterrent form for outpatient use.

House Bill 598 – (Gainey) PN 640: Requires practitioners to query the ABC-MAP system before prescribing, administering or dispensing an extended-release long-acting opioid analgesic in a non-abuse deterrent form to determine if an unusual pattern exists for the patient.

House Bill 677 – (Barbin) PN 723: Provides for Involuntary Commitment for emergency overdoses.

House Bill 761 – (Barbin) PN 838: Provides for criminal liability for emergency overdose events (eliminates immunity for overdose emergency patient).

House Bill 676 – (Barbin) PN 722: Establishes eight (8) regional detox centers across the Commonwealth paid for with tobacco settlement funds.

House Bill 115 – (Kaufer) PN 241: Further provides the means for insurers to prove themselves compliant with the abovementioned Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act by requiring written certification to be filed with the Insurance Department, under oath, attesting completion of a comprehensive review of all health insurance policies and plans administered and compliance with federal law.

House Bill 116 — (Kaufer) PN 242: Requires insurers to provide consumers with an emergency insurance addendum explaining the coverage for addiction treatment services provided under their purchased plan.

House Bill 117 – (Kaufer) PN 243: Require insurers to disclose to the Insurance Department the number of insureds, the number of insureds receiving addiction treatment and a breakdown of the treatment, including denials based on types of treatment. The department will use this information to prepare a public report that will be further reviewed by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for compliance with the federal parity law and other laws of the Commonwealth.

House Bill 118 – (Kaufer) PN 244: Encourages existing health care facilities to convert beds to provide medically supervised detoxification and create a staging area for people who are in need of developing a high quality treatment program who may still be in search of an available bed.

House Bill 119 – (Kaufer) PN 1927: Establish a certification process for drug and alcohol houses that receive taxpayer dollars (“Sober Houses/Recovery Houses”).

House Bill 121 – (Kaufer) PN 2058: Updates anti-drug curricula in schools to include new prevention programs & identify DDAP as the Department to provide guidance; also requires DDAP & PDE to jointly issue a report & update every five (5) years to the General Assembly.

House Bill 122 – (Kaufer) PN 351: Implements & establishes PA Project Lazarus Commission to help develop a best practice model for comprehensive, community-based efforts to consolidate overdose prevention efforts.

House Bill 123 – (Kaufer) PN 300: Gives counties that have established “drug courts” the option of adopting a fee to help pay for some of the associated costs, imposed upon criminal defendants who are convicted of or plead guilty to a drug crime.

House Bill 124 – (Kaufer) PN 301: Directs the State Board of Medicine to adopt guidelines restricting when buprenorphine is prescribed in an office-based practice or other location determined by the board, and prohibits any doctor from dispensing, injecting, implanting or prescribing buprenorphine unless it is part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and behavioral health therapy.

House Bill 235 – (Watson) PN 1055: Establishes a taskforce that will focus on the impact the opioid abuse epidemic is having on children; specifically, to identify strategies and make short- and long-term recommendations to prioritize the prevention of substance-exposed infants; to improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting women striving to recover from addiction; and to promote the health, safety and permanency of substance-exposed infants and other young children at-risk of child abuse and neglect, or placement in foster care due to parental alcohol and drug abuse.

House Bill 298 – (Davis) PN 522: Authorizes police departments to establish and administer an ANGEL program aimed at assisting individuals in identifying and receiving treatment for opiate addiction.

House Bill 400 – (Murt) PN 456: Strengthens the ability of the Department of Insurance to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008 (“Parity”).

House Resolution 17 – (Burns) PN 20: Requests that the United States Congress to pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse its directive allowing OxyContin to be prescribed to children 11 to 16 years of age.

House Resolution 325 – (Burns) PN 1714: Urges Congress to pass the Synthetic Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act.

House Bill 617 – (Cruz) PN 654: Provides for the safe disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes, requiring education materials, limiting the operation of syringe-exchange programs within a city of the first class and providing penalties.

House Resolution 250 – (Donatucci) PN 1426: Recognizes May 14-20, 2017 as “National Prevention Week” in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 1246 – (Sturla) PN 1490: Further provides immunity from prosecution to an individual or organization who in good faith acquires and administers the lifesaving overdose-reversal medication naloxone (“Good Samaritan”).

House 1190 – (McClinton) PN 1769: Creates a school-based substance abuse prevention and intervention program administered jointly by the Department of Education and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

House Bill 932 – (DiGirolamo) PN 1088: Authorizes state oversight by licensure of prescribers of Suboxone, also known by its generic name – Buprenorphine.  Also requires necessary addiction counseling and treatment to accompany the medication, and establishes a fee for the licensees of $10,000 per year which will fund the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to provide oversight and licensure. The bill also requires the Department of State to establish guidelines for consequences for failure to adhere to these new requirements.

House Bill 396 – (DiGirolamo) PN 1052: Requires Prescribers to Check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program every time a controlled substance is prescribed for every patient to guard against abuse.

House Bill 355 – (Davis) PN 367: Creates the Certified Recovery Residence Act, establishing the State Board of Recovery Residences within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

House Bill 713 – (Baker) PN 770: Amends the Mental Health Procedures Act to establish that a drug overdose represents a clear and present danger for the purposes of the act.

House Bill 384 – (Readshaw) PN 387: Provides for involuntary commitment of an individual for Drug & Alcohol treatment, so ordered by a Court of Common Pleas and stemming from an a direct relative filing a petition under the Mental Health Procedures Act.

House Bill 887 – (Bizzaro) PN 985: Establishes a veterans treatment court in counties in PA that don’t currently have one to assist veterans charged with nonviolent crimes who are struggling with addiction, mental illness or co-occurring disorders.

House Bill 825 – (Heffley) PN 909: Directs DHS to develop and administer an internet-based psychiatric and detoxification bed registry to collect, aggregate and display information about available beds in public and private inpatient psychiatric facilities and licensed detoxification and rehabilitation facilities for the treatment of individuals in need of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization or detoxification.

House Bill 17 – (Hahn/McNeil) PN 2003: Amends Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act to specify that a parent or guardian is authorized to provide consent for treatment of their minor child.

House Bill 1043 – (Baker) PN 1477: Regulates pain management clinics in PA by requiring them to register with PA Department of Health and subject to specific requirements.