By: Aubrey Burgess
Jesse Williams, junior, who is part of the Leander High School Delegation, proposed bill 129 which argued that regulations need to be placed on opioid prescriptions in Texas. The bill was not passed.
Bill 129 states, “a committee of physicians and pharmacists will oversee the prescribing of opioid drugs and will receive the ability to see all monthly prescription records of hospitals in Texas, all prescriptions over 50 MME will be reported to the committee with a reason for the dosage, and all prescriptions over 90 MME will be directly accessed by the committee to make sure that that is what the patient needs.”
Since 1999, opioid sales through a prescription have quadrupled, according to the Atlantic. Currently, the law permits the prescribing of opioid medication for chronic pain patients. This law was put in place because to ensure patients who were prescribed the medication were able to obtain it.
To enforce the bill Williams wrote, “Any people or persons found not complying will be charged with dealing schedule ll drugs.”
The dealings of those drugs would result in up to 20 years of prison for 50 MME and up to life in prison for 90 MME if the illegally prescribed drugs caused any harm to others.
Emily Ramirez, sophomore, spoke against the bill.
“I am against this proposal because who is supposed to monitor who is on the committee?” Ramirez said.
Dylan Cousins, junior, agreed with Ramirez.
“I am in favor of this bill but not the process to get there,” Cousins said.
“To be completely honest,” said Williams, “I feel like the 3 people who talked opposition to my bill didn’t understand what a committee was or how a committee works. They believed it would be a small number of people, when it would only be a small number of people making the laws and then there would be workers helping in different sections. As well they were confused when I said doctors would be on it, when I said pharmacists and people who understand how it works.”
Williams said that there was a “massive cut down on all of our times” causing him to be less prepared, which could’ve made a difference on his performance.
No amendments were made to this bill and everyone said, “nay,” when asked who is in favor.