New Prescription Drug Laws in Nevada

Nevada is in the midst of a prescription pill abuse epidemic. The state is currently one of the top states for writing painkiller prescriptions. Residents of the state also consume twice as many prescription drugs as any other state. Given this rampant spread in prescription drug abuse, Nevada is beginning to take measures to combat prescription pill abuse.

On January 1, 2016, Senate Bill No. 288 became effective in Nevada. In an effort to combat the high numbers of prescription drug abuse, the law established Nevada’s computerized Prescription Monitoring Act, which features three prominent changes in Nevada prescription drug law:

  1. Board of Pharmacy Registrants who prescribe controlled substances must now register with the Prescription Monitoring Act. This new registration requirement will enable Nevada to better control who exactly prescribes pills in the state.
  2. Those registered with the Prescription Monitoring Act must query the system at least once every six months. Querying the system twice a year will help Nevada keep up to date on prescription pill use.
  3. Additional enforcement of the Prescription Monitoring Act now exists by the state’s occupational licensing boards. This extension of power to Nevada’s occupational licensing boards will assist in enforcing prescription pill offenses.

The Prescription Monitoring Act will assist Nevada authorities in prosecuting a variety of prescription pill offenses including illegal possession of medication, possession without proof of prescription, doctor shopping, and prescription fraud. Being charged with these offenses can lead to several unfavorable results including a five year prison sentence and/or a $20,000 fine for multiple time offenders.

These new requirements for those authorized to write and fill prescriptions support the National Drug Control Strategy, a series of laws passed in 2010 in an effort to reduce illicit drug use in the United States. These laws also act in addition to Senate Bill 459, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which became effective in 2015 and serves to provide protection for those who call in an overdose emergency and also expands access to the overdose antidote, naloxone.

Expect Nevada to grow even less lenient in its enforcement of prescription pill charges as the state attempts to combat its high rate of prescription pill abuse.