Legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) requiring prescription opioid medications to include a warning sticker advising patients of the risk of addiction and overdose has passed the New Jersey Senate.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Kristin Corrado requiring prescription opioid medications to include a warning sticker advising patients of the risk of addiction and overdose has passed the New Jersey Senate. (WikiMedia)
“New Jerseyans who are prescribed opioid medications should be aware of the potential dangers every time they reach for the bottle,” Corrado said. “The unprecedented rise in opioid deaths proves that we must do more to combat the addiction crisis. The bill we passed today is a simple step, but it will save countless lives.”
Corrado’s bipartisan bill, S-2244/A-3292, would require any prescription opioid medication dispensed in the State of New Jersey to include a warning sticker describing the risks of opioid medications. Opioids that would qualify for a label under the bill include codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol) and oxycodone (OxyContin).
The warning sticker would be red in color with text printed in a black font that is large enough to be easily and clearly readable.
New Jersey has had a 40 percent increase in drug-related death in 2016. The rise in deaths is consistent with a national trend. More than 64,000 people died nationally of drug-related causes in 2016 – the most in recorded history.
“Clear safety warnings will clarify vital information and increase a patient’s understanding of the risks associated with opioids,” Corrado added. “Similar to warning labels on cigarettes and alcohol, labels on opioids will serve as a consistent reminder of the potential dangers of abusing prescription medication. This simple sticker will play an essential role in our ongoing efforts to end New Jersey’s opioid epidemic.”