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Jun 29, 2011 8:44 PM by Q2 News

Montana's new prescription drug law takes effect Friday

HELENA - Even though Montana's new law to register prescription drugs goes into effect July 1st, it will take some time to feel the full effects.

Backed by Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, the new law attempts to make it more difficult for for people to obtain prescription pain killers from multiple doctors.

Under the new law, pharmacies will be required to report when they fill a prescription for drugs such as narcotics, stimulants and anti-depressants. That way doctors will be able to cross-reference the prescriptions for better tracking.

Bullock says ithe new law should be fully implemented by January.

"We're working with the board of Pharmacy to get all the pieces in place," said Bullock. "Once the new law is operational, I believe it will change the dynamics of the challenge we've had with prescription drugs," explained Bullock.

Bullock says the only cost associated for doctors, or those who prescribe or dispense the medicines, is a $15 registry fee.

Bullock estimates the cost to build the registry will be around $250,000 dollars, The Attorney General's office is currently looking for federal grants to help defray that cost.

Montana joins 43 other states in the prescription drug registry program.

Similar legislation failed in two previous Montana legislative sessions.

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