Senate Research Center

S.B. 316


By: Uresti


Health & Human Services










This bill aims to help curb the rampant abuse of prescription opioids.  According to a July 2012 USA Today article, the White House Office on National Drug Policy counts prescription drug abuse as the nation's fastest-growing drug problem.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the misuse of these powerful narcotics as an epidemic, with 1.3 million emergency room visits in 2010, a 115 percent increase since 2004.  Perhaps most troubling, fatalities due to overdosing on opioid pain relievers surpassed deaths from heroin and cocaine for the first time in 2008. 


Studies show that addicts tend to crush or otherwise break down timed-release products into a form that can be snorted or injected for a more intense high.  Thus, formulations that make it more difficult to crush or otherwise manipulate such products help mitigate the potential for abuse.


S.B. 316 amends current law relating to continuing education for pharmacists regarding drug abuse and opioid drugs and an interim study regarding opioid abuse.




Rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy in SECTION 1 (Section 559.0525, Occupations Code) of this bill.




SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 559, Occupations Code, by adding Section 559.0525, as follows:


Sec. 559.0525.  CONTINUING EDUCATION RELATING TO OPIOID DRUGS.  (a) Requires the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) to develop a continuing education program regarding opioid drug abuse and the delivery, dispensing, and provision of tamper-resistant opioid drugs after considering input from interested persons.


(b) Authorizes TSBP by rule to require a license holder to satisfy a number of the continuing education hours required by Section 559.053 (Program Hours Required) through attendance of a program developed under this section.


SECTION 2.  (a) Requires the standing committee of the senate that has primary jurisdiction over health and human services to conduct an interim study regarding opioid abuse and the provision of tamper-resistant opioids.


(b) Authorizes the committee to establish appropriate criteria for the study to accomplish the study's purpose.  Requires that the study include an examination of matters relating to prescription opioid abuse and the use and effectiveness of tamper-resistant opioids.


(c) Requires the committee, not later than December 1, 2014, to submit a report of the committee's findings and recommendations to the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives for consideration by the 84th Legislature.  Requires the committee to include in its report the results of the study conducted under this section and the committee's recommendations for specific statutory changes, if any.


(d) Provides that this section expires September 1, 2015.


SECTION 3.  Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2013.