Prescription drug bill movesA bill designed to reduce...


March 23, 1991

Prescription drug bill moves

A bill designed to reduce abuse of prescription drugs passed the Senate Committee on Economic and Environmental Affairs yesterday in a vote of 8-3.

Doctors prescribing drugs would be required to buy numbered prescription pads from the state. The pads, printed on difficult-to-reproduce paper, would provide a traceable record of the prescription beginning with the physician.

Patients would present prescriptions exactly as they do now. But pharmacists would then report the transaction to the state by means of computer link or on a printed form.

Prescriptions printed this way would be more carefully maintained by physicians to prevent theft or forgeries, according to the theory behind the bill.

The tracking procedure has been opposed by physicians who fear it would dissuade doctors from dispensing the best possible medicine for pain for fear of being prosecuted.

Corporal punishment ban

Setting aside arguments that sparing the rod would spoil not only the child but the state as well, the House of Delegates banned yesterday corporal punishment in Maryland's public schools.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Delegate Norman H. Conway, D-Worcester, a teacher, urged the House to reject the measure in order to preserve spanking as an alternative to expulsion or suspension. Sterner action earlier, he suggested, would head off more serious problems later.

But Delegate Gene W. Counihan, D-Montgomery, also a teacher, said discipline could be achieved without spanking. "It's time this legislature banned it forever," he said. The House agreed, passing the bill on a vote of 94-36.

Student aid measure

The House of Delegates gave final approval yesterday to its version of the Schaefer administration's plan to reform Maryland's student financial aid programs.

Without debate, the House passed the scholarship reform bill on a 133-1 vote. The Senate unanimously passed its version last week. The legislation would reorganize and modify many of the state's college scholarship programs.

Among other things, the proposal would put greater emphasis on financial need, rather than geographic distribution, in the awarding of scholarships. One of the new programs created by bill would establish a math/science student corps, which would help students pay back loans if they pursued a math or science undergraduate degree.

The proposal would affect about 28,000 students and would be fully in place by 1996.

Quote of the day

"I'm sure there are enough candy machines out there to keep them busy, and I'd rather see kids eating candy than smoking cigarettes."

Sen. Arthur Dorman,

D-Prince George's, referring to a bill

that would prohibit cigarette

vending machines in certain

places where youngsters gather


The General Assembly will not meet today or tomorrow.

There are 17 days remaining in the 1991 General Assembly session.


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