Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced this week the state will sign an agreement to share and receive prescription drug dispensing data with at least 20 other states. The move is designed to help the state monitor prescription drug abuse.
The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting program (KASPER) will join the National Association of Board of Pharmacy’s Prescription Monitoring Program InterConnect (PMP InterConnect), a system that allows prescription drug abuse information to be shared across state lines, kypost.com reports.
“The blight of prescription drug abuse is tearing our families and communities apart, and we must use every tool available to attack this deadly scourge on our state,” Governor Beshear said in a news release. “One of our key strategies is sharing information with surrounding states, so that we can not only cut off access to abusers, but also identify the problem prescribers.” The release states the program is being paid for by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Kentucky has the highest rate of opioid abuse in the country, according to a recent report from the Kentucky State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup.
In February, Govenor Beshear said he supports several bills under consideration by the state legislature that are designed to fight prescription drug abuse.
One bill under consideration by the Kentucky House would require doctors who prescribe narcotic painkillers to use the state’s prescription drug monitoring system. It also would require pain clinics be owned by licensed practitioners, and would bar those whose licenses have been suspended or surrendered in other states from receiving a Kentucky license.
A bill being considered by the state Senate would require that all pain clinics be licensed, specify requirements for ownership and employment, and oblige Kentucky’s licensure board to develop regulations for pain clinics.