Governor Pence Thanks Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention, Issues Final Recommendation of the Year

Following a recommendation voted on at the fourth meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention on December 8, 2015, Governor Mike Pence announced Yesterday that he will include a bill, authored by Representative Greg Steuerwald, that addresses drug dealer penalties on his legislative agenda for the 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly. At the fourth Task Force meeting on December 8, 2015, the Task Force heard from more than 20 individuals, parents, and community members who shared how they have been impacted by drug abuse. Following these testimonies, the Task Force voted to recommend the Governor support legislation to enhance penalties for drug dealers convicted of serious and aggravated offenses Over its first four meetings, the Task Force made 15 recommendations. These recommendations can be viewed on this article below.


Drug Task Force Recommendations as of 12/8/15
Recommendation Subject
Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver
Directed FSSA to pursue a Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver for individuals with substance use disorders to broaden Indiana Medicaid benefit packages to provide a more comprehensive continuum of covered services and care.
Aaron’s Law Awareness
Directed agencies to raise awareness of Aaron’s law (SEA 406-2015), which the Governor signed into law this year to allow individuals to obtain and administer lifesaving overdose intervention drugs.
Youth Assistance Expansion
Directed the Department of Workforce Development to work closely with existing youth assistance programs and identify best practice models to replicate statewide.
INSPECT Recommendations
Directed the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to convene a working group to send recommendations on improvements and best practices related to INSPECT, to the INSPECT Oversight Committee.
Commission for Improving the Status of Children
Requested the Commission for Improving the Status of Children make recommendations through its Educational Outcomes Task Force and Substance Abuse and Child Safety Task Force on the following: (1) developing age appropriate substance abuse curriculum for students and (2) finding ways to better connect affected youth with substance abuse services.
Acute Pain Prescribing Guidelines
Directed the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to work with appropriate entities including those that represent physicians, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, podiatrists, and veterinarians to develop guidelines for prescribing acute pain medications.
Chronic Pain Prescribing Rules
Directed appropriate entities to promulgate and adopt with all expediency chronic pain prescribing rules for all prescribers.
Naloxone Availability
Directed the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) to identify gaps in Naloxone availability compared with overdose demographics.
Regional Therapeutic Communities
Directed the Department of Correction to work with Starke and other northwest Indiana counties to adopt and pilot the Regional Therapeutic Communities program, which provides more treatment options for local officials in addressing drug addiction.
PLA – INSPECT Oversight
Directed the Professional Licensing Agency, to request that the INSPECT Oversight Committee explore possible measures to increase access to INSPECT for prescribers and dispensers
FSSA Gold Card Program
Directed the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to implement the Gold Card Program, which removes administrative burdens by allowing qualified physicians the ability to prescribe medications without prior authorization. The prior authorization process enables payers like the Indiana Medicaid Program a chance to review the medical evidence of a member’s health condition, as provided by the treating physician, so that the medical need for covering the service and treatment costs can be established.
Legislative Recommendations
Expand the Lifeline Law to include immunity beyond alcohol offenses.
Amend state law to require the Indiana State of Department of Health (ISDH) to issue a standing order for the dispensing of an overdose intervention drug, such as naloxone. This standing order will enable certain entities such as pharmacies to sell the drug to an individual without needing a prior prescription from a physician.
Modify the Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana in a way that maintains support for local coordinating councils (LCCs) but brings together state agencies and stakeholders to address the drug abuse issues Indiana is facing today.
Support legislation to enhance penalties for serious, aggravated drug dealers.

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