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Armato Unveils Legislation to Mandate Warning Sticker on Opioid Prescription Bottles

(NORTHFIELD) – Assemblyman John Armato on Friday announced he has introduced legislation to require that all prescription opioid medications include a warning sticker advising patients of the risk of addiction and overdose.
New Jersey would be the first state in the nation with a permanent law to take mandating a warning label for prescription opioids.
“We have warning labels on just about all medications these days,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “In the middle of this epidemic, we need to utilize every tool in our arsenal to increase awareness and education about the effects of opioid abuse. Adding a warning sticker to all opioid medications is an easy, cost-effective way that can save lives.”
Drug labeling regulations are set by the federal Food & Drug Administration, and any state legislation would be pre-empted by federal statute. However, adding a warning sticker to the bottle can be done on a state-to-state basis.
This bill would require the Director of the Consumer Affairs, in consultation with the Department of Health, to promulgate language for the sticker, which at a minimum, is to indicate the medication is an opioid, and that opioid medications carry a risk of addiction and overdose.
Furthermore, it directions the sticker to be red in color with text printed in a white font to be easily and clearly readable.
Armato has been on the front lines of the combating the opioid and heroin epidemic in Atlantic County. He serves on the Atlantic County Opioid Task Force, is a certified recovery coach, and runs a monthly meeting for co-dependents of those suffering from the disease of drug addiction.
“In 2018 in New Jersey, it’s sadly an oddity to know someone who hasn’t in some way been touched by the ongoing epidemic,” Armato said. “I look forward to working with all doctors, nurses, pharmacists, recovery groups, and all stakeholders to pass this important piece of legislation.”