The House Health and Human Services Committee has advanced a bill to strengthen the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), which was created in 2010 to help curb prescription abuse.

Senate Bill 1, which came out of the summer Interim Substance Abuse Prevention Study Committee, passed unanimously and moves to the full House chamber. It previously passed the Senate.

Senate Bill 1 requires that all prescribers register with the program, improves integration with medical records and increases the required reporting time from once a week to every 24 hours. The goal is to prevent potential abusers to moving from prescriber to prescriber to obtain multiple opioid prescriptions.

South Dakota Department of Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said grant money has helped Avera Heath complete its integration into the system, and grants have also been made available to help Sanford Health and Regional Health integrate.

SDAHO supports the measure. Debra Owen, SDAHO’s vice president of state and federal relations, said SDAHO members have been investing in the software because they see one-click access as key for expediting care.

Malsam-Rysdon said South Dakota has the seventh lowest rate of per-capita prescriptions and the second lowest death rate to drug overdoses, but opioid abuse is still an issue. Rep. Mike Stevens, R-Yankton, a bill sponsor, said enough doses of opioids were prescribed in South Dakota in 2016 to medicate every resident for 19 consecutive days.

A separate bill that would require the Board of Pharmacy to report to the Legislature on monitoring and use of opioids in the state also passed the committee and was approved by the full House on Wednesday. Senate Bill 4 is also supported by SDAHO.