On June 3, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law House Bill 1466, Senate Bill 1832.
This bill entails that as of July 1, 2014 it is required that prior to dispensing a prescription for any scheduled narcotic for greater than a seven-day supply, the distributor must require the person taking possession of the prescription to present a valid form of identification before receiving the medication.
Based out of the Metropolitan Drug Commission, the Knox County Prescription Drug Task Force was created. This task force was started in August 2013 with the sole purpose of joining forces to reduce prescription drug abuse in the Knoxville community.
The task force is compiled of leaders from: Knoxville Academy of Medicine, Knoxville City and County Law Enforcement Officials, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Knox County Medical Examiners, UT College of Nursing, South College School of Pharmacy, Healthcare 21, Drug Enforcement Administration and House Representatives Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville) and Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville).
As a result of the efforts from this task force, the ID Bill was drafted and developed to be presented to the State Legislature for approval. This bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously with sponsors by House Representatives Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville), Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) and State Senator Ken Yager (R-Roane).
The purpose of this bill is not to make it more difficult for people who need these prescriptions to obtain them, but rather for people who are diverting or fraudulently trying to acquire a narcotic. Other states who have passed similar laws have found those laws to be a deterrent.
Several members from the Knox County Prescription Drug Task Force were present for the bill signing including MDC Executive Director, Karen Pershing. This task force will be continuing to prioritize and develop strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse in the Knoxville community.