Senator Tommy Williams
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104

April 27, 2007
Contact: (512) 463-0104

Texas Senate Approves Sen. Williams' Monitoring Plan for Certain Prescription Drugs

AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate this week approved legislation authored by Sen. Tommy Williams designed to expand the states prescription drug monitoring program to help control a growing misuse of pharmaceutical drugs. The bill now goes to the Texas House for consideration.

"Prescription drug abuse is rising at an alarming rate and is crossing all ages, races and income levels. This abuse is also creating additional financial burdens on our local law enforcement, courts, health care, and social service agencies," said Williams.

Current Texas law monitors Schedule II drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Ritalin. Pharmacies dispensing these drugs obtain certificates and send this information with the Department of Public Safety. SB 1879 would require a dispensing pharmacist to send electronic information on Schedule III - V prescribed drugs (anabolic steroids, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, cough suppressants with codeine and others) in addition to their current Schedule II reporting.

Law enforcement officials recognize the flourishing trade of easily obtained prescriptions from questionable clinics and pharmacies, and believe the reporting of Schedule III - V drugs will show when patients are doctor shopping, forging prescriptions and when physicians are illicitly prescribing drugs.

"More and more states are adopting electronic monitoring programs because of a growing number of pill mill doctors and unscrupulous pharmacies. I want it known these practices are simply not welcome in Texas," added Williams.

Senator Williams represents Senate District 4 covering all or portions of Jefferson, Orange, Chambers, Liberty, Harris and Montgomery Counties. Williams serves as Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Committee and as a member of the Finance, Transportation, Education and the Sub-committee on Higher Education in the Texas Senate.