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Kentucky Prescription Drug Abuse Law Could be Modified, State Lawmakers Say


Kentucky lawmakers may consider modifying a state law that requires doctors to use a prescription monitoring database for opioid pain medication, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The new law, signed by Governor Steve Beshear in May, aims to curb prescription drug abuse. The measure was opposed by the Kentucky Medical Association.

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.

On Monday, a legislative oversight committee on the law, heard from an emergency room physician who said the new regulations are “overreaching and will restrict access by legitimate citizens to much needed relief of pain and suffering.” Dr. Steven Stack called for changes in the law. He said an 80-year-old woman who comes to the emergency room with a broken wrist does not need a report from the state’s drug database, the Kentucky All-Substance Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER), in order to get pain medication. “There are innumerable examples like this under a law that will require enormous extra work on the health community,” he said.

State Senator Jimmy Higdon, who sits on the law’s oversight committee, said he expects that the legislature will make changes in the law in the coming year.

8 Responses to this article

  1. Sandra / January 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Again the government is interfering in our
    private lives. I am sorry you lost your husband, but he probably bought that prescription from someone on the street.
    That’s what addicted people do they have a disease that needs to be fed at any cost.
    But this new law affects people that are in
    pain and until they come up with something
    better than pain meds that’s all we have to help us live and continue to fuction as best
    we can. We need more rehabs for the addicted people not jails which is how they are being
    dealt with now, more than half of the people
    in prison are there because of their addiction.

  2. Avatar of Bobbie
    Bobbie / January 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I lost my husband to a drug overdose on Nov 2nd, my husband was not a criminal he was sick. Addiction is a sickness plain and simple there were many times before this law passed that my husband went to the ER and got morphine or other opiod drugs that he did not need, that only fed the addiction.My husband was 20 years old and I am not in anyway saying that this law could have saved his life but I think anyone getting a prescription for an opiod should be checked out because my husband had no active prescriptions so the obvious realization to come to is that someone who had a prescription sold him the drugs and then my husband didn’t wake up. Kentucky is not losing it’s elderly who have already made their mark we are losing our youth which is our future.

  3. Avatar of Gloria
    Gloria / November 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    This law concernig legal medicine has done nothing but make it hard on a lot of law abiding citizens! Doesn’t the government know yet- that the criminals always get what they want, they always have and always will.
    Innocent law abiding citizens are penalized once again to make the world safer…what a joke! Criminals are called criminals because they choose to do things illegally, no law is going to change this fact! Leave the innocent people alone. We have had enough of paying for the quilty!!

  4. Shelia / September 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I am a CHRONIC INTRACTABLE PAIN PATIENT and I am unable to find a DR in this state any where to see me much less right my prescriptions. This is OUTRAGEOUS. Something needs to be done. If anyone here want to Join a group to help fight these laws please email me or facebook….……..thanks we need to stop this and NOW !!

  5. Lisa / September 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Understanding this law is important. The prescription drug abuse problem is an epidemic in Kentucky because of a handful of unscrupulous doctors who opened “pain clinics” and were writing scripts for cash. Note: these were illegitimate businesses (called pill mills)where an exam might not even have been given! We are experiencing the same here in Ohio on a lesser degree, but a similar law was passed. Legitimate pain clinics have nothing to fear since they probably already are in compliance as they are there to serve patients, not themselves. This is to close down those docs who are just looking to make money off the prescription drug addiction problem (unfortunately, every profession has its bad eggs).

  6. craig / September 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I am sitting here in extreme pain due specifically to this absurd law. Prosecute the addicts, don’t penalize the honest, productive citizens. You DO NOT know what is best for me. Quit acting like you do.

  7. Avatar of Shirley
    Shirley / August 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Taking my Tax Dollars out of Kentucky. Done
    With This State Playing God with people lives. I don’t live on welfare and i don’t Live On food Stamps. I seen the Same Doctor For 30 years. But I’m throw with this state.

  8. Joshua / July 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    do police even do any investigation anymore? do they understand what probable cause is? do doctors understand why there are confidentiality laws? how do the people of Kentucky live with this blatant tyrany? this is how totalitarianism starts, by “protecting” the people. on the one hand i’d love to see this challenged at the supreme cour level, on the other hand i fear that they’d be ok with it, and just do away with the 4th ammendment entirely

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