New prescription drug law in effect this month

New prescription drug law in effect this month named after Knoxville overdose victim

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"I think the idea behind the why of the new law is fantastic. It limits someone's ability to get a large quantity of those medications, if they have other nefarious purposes in mind," said pharmacist David Belew. "I think the idea behind the why of the new law is fantastic. It limits someone's ability to get a large quantity of those medications, if they have other nefarious purposes in mind," said pharmacist David Belew.
"It's going to reduce the supply of these pills that are on the street and that's going to lessen the opportunity for diversion of those narcotics," Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said. "It's going to reduce the supply of these pills that are on the street and that's going to lessen the opportunity for diversion of those narcotics," Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

NASHVILLE (WATE) - A new law that went into effect at the beginning of October prevents anyone in Tennessee from filling prescriptions for opioid pain medications and benzodiazepine medicines for more than a 30-day supply.

The law applies to pharmacies, dispensaries, and mail-order programs located outside the state.

Some of the drugs included are Lortab, Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanax and Valium.

The new law is part of a statewide effort to reduce prescription drug abuse.

For Schedule II medicines, each 30-day supply requires a new prescription. For other drugs, a single prescription can be refilled in 30-day increments for up to six months.

In the past, pharmacies could fill 90 day-supplies, but the law puts new restrictions on some of the most heavily abused drugs.

"I think the idea behind the why of the new law is fantastic. It limits someone's ability to get a large quantity of those medications, if they have other nefarious purposes in mind," said pharmacist David Belew.

The law is called the Addison Sharp Prescription Regulatory Act, named after a Knoxville Catholic High School graduate who died of a prescription overdose.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch helped pushed the bill through.

"With Addison's family, they needed a voice. They were able to go to the legislature, and they were able to get their attention, but they needed someone to help them advocate," said Chief Rausch.

Chief Rausch says the 30-day limit will be a huge help in fighting the prescription pill epidemic.

"It's going to reduce the supply of these pills that are on the street and that's going to lessen the opportunity for diversion of those narcotics," he said.

Pharmacist David Belew says so far it's been more of an inconvenience for customers, particularly those planning on extensive traveling Chief Rausch says its an inconvenience that's worth it.

"I think for the impact its going to have on the entire state, on families that are losing children to this horrible epidemic, I think saving lives, really outweighs what little inconvenience of filling a prescription every 30 days," said the chief.

Tennesseans who need help with a drug problem can call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789.

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