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Beginning Tuesday, anyone picking up a prescription for hydrocodone, oxycodone or other opioids at a Montana pharmacy will need to show identification.

The change comes from a law passed during the 2019 Legislature to help tighten up prescribing practices for addictive painkillers.

A Montana driver’s license, tribal identification card or photo identification from a school or college will work.

In addition to the ID requirement, the law caps prescriptions at a seven-day supply for opioid-naïve patients. Under the new law, those are patients who have not been prescribed a drug containing opioids for 90 days prior to the current prescription.

Attorney General Tim Fox partnered with Rep. Vince Ricci, R-Laurel, to bring the bill. 

“Medical research has found that an opioid addiction can develop in just a few days, which is why my bill limits first-time prescriptions to no more than seven days,” Fox said, in a statement celebrating the bill’s passage.

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The new law also requires providers to use the state’s prescription drug registry, which came online in 2012. The move takes aim at doctor-shopping.

Between 2015 and 2017, Montana saw 86 residents die due to an opioid overdose, according to the state health department.

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