Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

Back to profile


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ST. PAUL – In an effort to tackle opioid abuse in Minnesota, state lawmakers have unveiled the Opioid Reform Act – a series of bills that seek to address this prescription painkiller addiction problem.


State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) supports the proposals, as he said opioid abuse has led to a staggering amount of deaths across the nation.


“When people who have back pain or are recovering from surgery get over-prescribed opioids, addiction occurs,” Schomacker said. “We need to make sure that these prescriptions are monitored and that patients only receive what they need and nothing more.”


Schomaker said several of the bills that comprise the Opioid Reform Act were approved in the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Reform Committee recently. They include proposals that prohibit a pharmacist or dispenser from filling a prescription for an opioid drug more than 30 days after the date on which the prescription was issued; require dispensers to provide opioid prescription patients with information on opioid addiction and abuse; require prescribers and dispensers to query the prescription electronic reporting system of the Prescription Monitoring Program before initially prescribing or dispensing an opioid; and provide continuing education for prescribers.


“We want to be national leaders on addressing opioid abuse and that’s why we’re taking this crisis so seriously,” Schomacker said. “If someone becomes addicted or overdoses we need to be able to care for them, and we also need to try and stop the problem before it starts.”