New Mississippi laws use PAs to combat the opioid epidemic

April 3, 2017

PAs in Mississippi will have greater impact on combating the opioid epidemic in their state as a result of two new laws enacted in mid-March: H.B. 996 and H.B. 1032.  Like many states, Mississippi is working to address increased abuse of prescription opioids and heroin.

H.B. 996 would allow PAs to issue standing orders to pharmacies to authorize them to dispense an opioid antagonist (e.g. naloxone) to an individual at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose or to a family member, friend, or other person who is in a position to assist such an individual.  The new law will broaden PAs’ ability to provide access to these life-saving medications.

H.B. 1032 will require all practitioners who have active DEA numbers (including PAs) to register for the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).  This law will allow PAs who prescribe controlled substances to query and update the PMP, enabling them to have complete information regarding their patients’ prescription histories.

H.B. 996 and H.B. 1032 will assist Mississippi PAs in treating individuals who struggle with opioid addiction while still ensuring that patients who need opioid medications may access them.  For more information about these new laws or PA practice in Mississippi, please contact Erika Miller,  director or constituent organization outreach and advocacy.