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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.

18 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Bea
    Bea / 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!

  2. Dee / 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.

  3. Avatar of Shelia Purcell
    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.

  4. Avatar of Mark Moore
    Mark Moore / August 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I doubt very seriously that any curb in prescription drug abuse is made, the war on drugs has been a complete failure since written into law under Pres. Nixon..admitted by our own federal govt., so you think that giving someone your medical history that has no medical training is going to make a difference? I do not beleive so. Mark Moore Paralegal.

  5. Avatar of Kat
    Kat / August 19, 2012 at 9:23 am

    The good always seem to suffer for the bad. The new ‘Kasper’ law is confusing and it’s a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ prescribe pain meds to those who need it. Insead of punishing the good guys, how about enforcing the laws we already have and making it mandatory for welfare & gov’t assistance drug testing? Also, where are you going to put all of these people who are in the wrong?

  6. Avatar of DJG
    DJG / May 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    This is a step in the right directions to try and get the drug problem under control. It is sad that government had to step in and make such a law. Seems to me so many doctors want to use medication as the firest option for everything. It should be a last resort. Just because a drug is prescribed by a physician does not mean it should be taken at the drop of a hat. Jsut because it is prescribed by a physician does not mean you cant get addicted and it wont ruin your life or your family. Too many docs or just legal drug dealers. If Rx are the answer to all theh problens why are they used mostly in this country. Do the human bodies in other countries not have pain? Or is it how we chose to deal with it !
    For those that have true pain, you need not worry there will always be docs to treat real pain !

  7. tom mcnamara / May 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Kudos to this Commonwealth for placing a solid piece of legislation into effect.Sadly it’s necessary.

  8. Jeff / May 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Here we go. This is exactly what so many of us sounded the alarm about when these database tools first began. The law was passed giving access to only select groups. Now with a wave of magic legislative wand law enforcement has access to hundreds of thousands of confidential medical records. This type of “enforcement creep” is insidious. The laws were passed with certain expectations of privacy and, just as many of us foresaw, those protections are now gone.

    The second issue is again just as foreseen. Doctors more unwilling to prescribe appropriate pain meds for fear of appearing to promote abuse or workload issues.

    Do our patients have any true rights concerning the confidentiality of their medical information left?

  9. Avatar of x0311ofone
    x0311ofone / August 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    No it isn’t needed. All this is (without sounding like a conspiracy theorist)is big brother. Giving people that really do not have any reason to look at your medical files is a violation of privacy I do not care how you want to spin it. All this law dose is make it hard for those that do need medication not the ones that abuse them because addicts will get what they need regardless of laws. On a more personal not I have been primed for penile and prostate cancer but because of the issue I lost my job thus my insurance so in other words I can not get any medical help and have asked for help and been to NO because this law specifically by my family doctor her actual statement was its to much trouble for me to fool with now but maybe a urologist will help you. Now do not try to defend your statement unless you have penile and prostate cancer symptoms… I defended my country as a US Marine and if I tell a doctor I have sever pain I think be giving something and monitored by my doctor but now and to top it off it is now policy because the doctors are so worried about this law that everyone must visit the office for refills of any type of controlled medication which is all of them. So I have to visit that office every 3 weeks and spend money I do not have now because of this law. This law does no good except create more revenue for medical facilities and give people access to your personal medical files that should not have access. Just my point…
    Former LCPL US Marines corp infantry.

  10. Avatar of craig
    craig / September 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I learned of this new law today after calling my physicians office (lying on my couch unable to stand up) to request hydrocodone which has successfully mitigated my pain during previous episodes of acute back pain. I cannot physically reach my doctors office due to the acute pain. I do not abuse this drug. The last time I used it was 2 years ago when I had a similar episode of acute pain. This law is extremely unfair to those of us who use drugs for their intended purpose. Unfortunately, too many people, including Brashear, care more about drug addicts than good, productive citizens. Thanks a lot.

  11. Avatar of Dee
    Dee / September 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I totally agree with you. I am a severe crohn’s patient that stays dehydrated. I was told to come in to the dr. Office under false pretenses. Our dr.(whom we should trust) cant even tell us the truth. I went into the dr. About 1 hr. before they closed. As I said, I have crohn’s
    And stay dehydrated. I was told I
    Had to give a urine sample before they closed(in 1 hr.) or I
    Would no longer be able to get my med. I drank, ran water, and still couldn’t pee. Too bad they said. No worry of withdrawal or any special consideration for my condition.Now no one will tell me when or if I will ever be able to test again! I didn’t refuse the test! This is rediculous. I am not a drug dealer or drug head and my dr. Knows this. I don’t think the gov. Should be able to tell my dr. How to treat me. And you can’t find out anything about this bill from a patients side. Only the gov. Side!!! So fearful for my future. I had just had a nervous breakdown, but this doesn’t even matter either. Wish I could find out more about this. I even read on the official gov. Site that you can’t even see your own records on this!!!! If anyone knows anymore about this please let me know. Thanks.

  12. Paula / May 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I so agree with you Sheila, as I have multiple pain issues, including chronic PAIN, all of thid makes a much non-functional and quality life

  13. Dee / September 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I completely agree with you Kat!

  14. Avatar of Steve Compton
    Steve Compton / September 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Jeff, you made a comment “Do our patients have any true rights left”. I can only assume your in the medical field. I hope you can answer my question. Ever since my wife had an overactive thryoid and used a radiation pill to weaken it, she developed trouble sleeping. 15 years ago, our PCP at the time prescibed Ambien (now Zolpidem) for her to take (1) each night. We use a mail order presciption insurance that allows us to mail 90 day supplies.
    Our current doctor’s assistant insist that with the “new” Kentucky law, they can only write 30 day scripts at a time. Because of delays, my wife is constantly running out before the next script is shipped.
    Is there any reason why our doctors assistant is refusing to write a 90 day supply?
    Thanks for taking time to read and answer our question.

  15. Avatar of christi
    christi / September 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I totally agree with you. They are really hurting the ones that need help the most!

  16. Bea / October 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I just received a reply to my email to my State’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. I was told it is up to the physician to decide how often they must see a patient taking a controlled substance. It is documented in Medical Board Regulation 201 KAR 9:260E. It seems many physicians are misunderstanding the rules and the Cabinet is in the process of changing the rules. Patients should call or email their State’s Cabinets to get verification of this information. I will be giving my doctor a copy of my email.

  17. Avatar of camille
    camille / October 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Go try to find one! My husband is a Vietnam Marine Vet and suffers from HCV stage 4 from the airguns, has kidney stones and a tumor on top, aeorta annurism sp? his knees blow up like balloons from arthritis and arthritis in his back and hips. He has all the medical tests done MRI, cat scans etc.. VA wont give him pain meds nor will our physician anymore because of the laws now. If you think your comments are correct that if you need it and deserve the meds,no problem in receiveing them. BULL CRAP!! I wish you all had to watch your love one suffer and can’t do a dam thing about it!!! I am sorry but this makes me irate!!

  18. Avatar of lisa
    lisa / December 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    My husband has the same problem only he has to go to the doctor every month pay a doctors fee before he will write a new precription. It cost us more for Doctors trips and medications. Oh also he has to bring in his bottle showing when he refilled his last refill. Not everyone has a drug abuse problem and need medication to servive. Where is the Dr. patient relationship, not the Dr, patient and Goverment?

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