Four states—Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia—have created the Interstate Prescription Drug Task Force to fight the region’s prescription drug abuse problem.
The task force consists of about 30 experts from drug agencies and law enforcement, according to The Courier-Journal. They will develop strategies to reduce the sale and abuse of prescription drugs, and will make recommendations to improve cooperation in sharing data, educational campaigns and police investigations.
All four states use electronic drug monitoring systems to collect information on who receives and prescribes certain medications, the article notes. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said on Wednesday the task force’s success will depend in large part on sharing drug information through these programs. “Kentucky isn’t an island. We have to attack this problem on a nationwide basis and work with other states to share information if we hope to turn around the prescription drug problem,” he said in a news release.
In April, the federal government announced a new strategy that aims to cut the use of prescription painkillers by 15 percent in five years. A major part of the proposal will be a push for prescription drug databases in every state.