Kentucky Governor Signs Law to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has signed into law a bill that aims to curb prescription drug abuse. The measure was opposed by the Kentucky Medical Association, which now says it will educate its members about the new law.

The law requires that all pain clinics be licensed, specifies requirements for ownership and employment, and obliges Kentucky’s licensure board to develop regulations for pain clinics. It gives law enforcement easier access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database.

Doctors will have to examine patients, take full medical histories, and check electronic prescription records before writing prescriptions for opioids, The Courier-Journal reports. “This bill’s got a lot of great things in it,” Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, told the newspaper. “Overall, I’m really excited about it.”

Proponents of the measure said they were disappointed the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system (KASPER) was not moved from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Attorney General’s office. They said the move would lead to a more thorough crackdown on prescription drug abuse.

The Kentucky Medical Association argued the law is a violation of personal privacy. The group’s president, Shawn Jones, said running numerous KASPER reports can be difficult for busy physicians. He said using the system takes him about 10 minutes per patient. Some doctors might stop prescribing painkillers because of the new rules, he added. He noted that the group plans to educate its members about how to follow the law.

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    October 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    I just wrote letters to my senator and others about this House Bill 1/ Kasper law. Why are those of us who don’t abuse drugs being made to pay for extra office visits we don’t need just to get medication we DO need!? Don’t they know our health insurance premiums and copays are going to go up when the companies have to make up for the additional visits they have to also pay for? Our Advantage Plan has already raised our premiums and it will only get worse. They are going to force doctors to leave their practice due to the additional paperwork etc. My physician’s office just told me they have to allow 30 minutes for each office visit now. Does anyone else know about this? This means less patients they can see in a day, more expenses and more documentations etc. They seem bent on driving good doctors into other fields!
    Patients need to speak out against this and try to get them to undo what is going on. I feel like I am being punished for someone else’s drug abuse and it’s hurting us financially!

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    September 6, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    The gov. Is making honest people do things they might not have done previously. I need my med. not to get high to survive. The drug dealers will continue to get what they want. Worry about the dr.s that are giving the med illegal. That will help. Not hurting the innocent.

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    Shelia Purcell

    August 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Not only is this wrong OUR medical info WAS to be protected by the HIPPA Law now anyone can have it from the Girl at the front counter of the Dr’s office to the Pharmacy staff. This is not a war on drugs this is a war on people!! People who are in Chronic Pain that does not go away with a surgery or a quick fix. People act as if we want to be in Pain, well I for one do NOT want to have MS, Lyme and Fibromylisa but I do so what is someone like me to do ?? There are over 100 MILLION chronic daily pain suffers in the US what are you telling them Deal with it.

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