Gov. Mary Fallin is praising a bill designed to crack down on prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma by requiring doctors to check an online prescription database before prescribing highly abused narcotics.
A Senate committee has approved the bill by Guthrie Republican Sen. A.J. Griffin. It now can be scheduled for a hearing in the full Senate.
Fallin said 81 percent of drug-related deaths in Oklahoma are caused by prescription drugs. She cited a recent survey that showed nearly 8 percent of Oklahomans are abusing prescription painkillers, nearly twice the national average.
Fallin signed a bill last year to create the program for monitoring the prescription of certain drugs, but law enforcement officials say not all doctors are using the program.