Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence has directed state agencies to act on five recommendations provided during the third meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention. At the third Task Force meeting on November 19, 2015, a list of action items were discussed and accepted for recommendation to the Governor. Today, the Governor took the following actions:
- 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.
- Directed the Professional Licensing Agency, to request that the INSPECT Oversight Committee explore possible measures to increase access to INSPECT for prescribers and dispensers (For more information on INSPECT, visit: http://www.in.gov/pla/inspect/).
- Support the following legislative items, authored by Sen. Jim Merritt, by including them on the Governor’s legislative agenda:
- 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.
- 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.
“The Task Force’s latest recommendations serve as another important step forward in combating the scourge of drug addiction in the Hoosier state,” said Governor Pence. “As such, I am directing our state agencies to proceed in implementing its recommendations. As the Task Force continues to provide counsel and guidance, my administration will remain vigilant in addressing drug abuse and its heartbreaking repercussions in a comprehensive manner.”
The next meeting for the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment, and Prevention is December 8, 2015. For additional information about the Task Force, including a list of resources, post-meeting recordings, minutes, presentation materials, and upcoming agendas, visit: www.drugtaskforce.in.gov.