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Matthew Hill's proposal to mandate lockable vials stalls in House committee

Associated Press • Updated Feb 27, 2019 at 1:47 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A proposal to require opioids and other addictive medications to be dispensed in lockable vials has been spiked in the Tennessee Legislature.

During a Wednesday hearing, Republican Rep. Matthew Hill conceded his bill did not have enough support to advance and asked to pull it back rather than having lawmakers vote it down.

Supporters had argued the goal was to target teenagers — who most commonly abuse opioids through “pilfering,” or sneaking pills from a friend or relative’s bottle — by locking certain drugs in a vial secured by key or code.

However, critics like the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, argued it’s unclear that locking vials would result in limiting access to drugs. For example, people could bypass the lock by smashing the plastic bottle with a hammer.

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