In 2012, the Tennessee General Assembly was successful in passing the Prescription Safety Act of 2012. Sen. Yager sponsored the 2012 act at the request of Governor Bill Haslam to create a tool to fight the statewide epidemic of prescription drug abuse. The bill authorized a database for pain pills and required both physician and pharmacist to check the database before issuing or dispensing a prescription for pain pills. The intent was to curb the so-called “doctor shopping” (one person using multiple prescriptions for the same drug at different pharmacies), which was a major source of the pain pills. The 2012 act also authorized a committee of health care professionals to monitor the database for patterns of abuse.
As of 2016, the Prescription Safety act of 2012 has reduced doctor shopping by 48 percent. The sunset provision of the 2012 act was removed by the General Assembly and the bill has been made permanent.