Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2244

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2244, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Require health care providers in the workers' compensation system who are authorized to prescribe opioids to adopt and maintain policies for informed consent to opioid therapy in circumstances that carry elevated risk of dependency; and


     (2)  Establish limits for concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions in the workers' compensation system.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the City and County of Honolulu Department of Human Resources, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, and Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Work Injury Medical Association of Hawaii, and one individual. 


     Your Committee finds that drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States, with the majority of drug overdose deaths involving an opioid.  Your Committee finds that the number of opioids sold in the United States quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, but that there was no change in the overall amount of pain reported.  Your Committee further finds that a number of states have also taken steps through their workers' compensation systems to stem overprescription of opioids to injured workers.  Your Committee observes that existing law contains provisions similar to those enacted by this measure for opioid prescriptions issued outside of the workers' compensation regime.  Accordingly, your Committee finds that this measure will similarly reduce unnecessary opioid prescriptions to injured workers and limit opioid overdoses, as well as offer the same protections to patients in the State's workers' compensation system as to those outside of the system.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2244, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,