prescription abuse

Health
2:51 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

CDC to Provide Kentucky $1 Million to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription pill abuse continues to plague the commonwealth, those some advances have been recently made.

Kentucky will receive over $1 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat prescription drug abuse.

The money will be spread out over three years and used to enhance the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. Kentucky has the third highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation, and has recently seen a surge in the number of deaths related to heroin.

The funding was announced Tuesday in Paintsville by CDC Director Thomas Frieden. He was joined by Rep. Hal Rogers, a Somerset Republic who represents the state’s 5th District. During his announcement, Frieden lauded efforts made by the commonwealth to crack down on the illegal prescription drug trade.

In recent years, state lawmakers have passed legislation cracking down on pill mills, which are clinics that abuse their prescription-writing authority for people seeking pain medication for recreational use. Kentucky also requires controlled substance prescribers to use KASPER, the state’s prescription monitoring program.

The CDC says the number of KASPER reports has more than tripled since those laws went into effect, and there has been a nine-percent decline in the amount of controlled substance dispensing in the commonwealth.

Health
5:00 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Rogers Wants FDA to Pull Painkiller Off the Market

Zohydro is coming under fire from some Congressional lawmakers, including Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset.

A Kentucky Congressman is pushing legislation to force the withdrawal of a powerful painkiller from the market.

Somerset Republican Hal Rogers says the drug will only worsen the nation’s prescription drug abuse problems. Rogers describes Zohydro as a “crushable, pure hydrocodone pill” that threatens to become the next Oxycontin, another crushable painkiller that has been widely abused across the nation.

The Courier-Journal reports a single Zohydro pill has up to five times more hydrocodone that medications combined with non-addictive drugs, such as Vicodin.

In addition to the U.S. House legislation, a similar measure has been introduced in the Senate.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has defended her agency’s approval of Zohydro, saying that the drug doesn’t contain the same risk of potentially fatal liver damage that is found in other pain-killing narcotics.

Over 40 consumer watchdog groups have petitioned the FDA to pull Zohydro off the market.

Politics
4:06 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Conway: Decision on Governor's Race Will Be Made by Spring

Attorney General Jack Conway

Kentucky's Attorney General continues to say he's strongly considering a run for governor.

Democrat Jack Conway was in south-central Kentucky Wednesday, addressing students and civic groups about issues including the state's prescription drug abuse problems.

After a speech to the Noon Rotary Club in Bowling Green, Conway told reporters there are other races that deserve the spotlight ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial election.

"With the Alison Lundergan Grimes campaign underway, they deserve a few quarters under their belt before a governor's race lands on top of them," Conway said. "But I would think that by the spring of next year, whoever's running for governor ought to be starting a fundraising operation to put together the resources necessary."

Grimes is challenging Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's much-talked-about Kentucky Senate race. Conway told his Bowling Green audience that coal will continue to be an important source of energy for the region, and that the state must continue to step up its fight against prescription pill abuse.

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Health
8:29 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Judge: Oxycontin Trial to Remain in Pikeville

A judge has ruled that a civil trial involving the maker of OxyContin should remain in Pikeville.

The lawsuit filed by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma alleges that the company misled health care providers, consumers and government officials regarding the risk of addiction associated with OxyContin. Conway is seeking reimbursement of money spent on law enforcement, drug treatment programs and Medicaid prescriptions.

Purdue Pharma had requested that the trial be moved, saying an impartial jury couldn't be seated in Pike County. Prosecutors objected.

The Lexington Herald Leader reports Conway said in a statement that Circuit Judge Steven Combs issued an order denying the request.

Purdue Pharma spokesman James Heins said in a statement that the company disagrees and is "assessing our options."

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Health
3:43 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Judge Asked to Move Oxycontin Case Away from Eastern Kentucky Town

A judge is considering whether a civil trial involving the maker of OxyContin should be moved away from Pikeville.

The lawsuit filed by Kentucky Attorney General against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma alleges that the company misled health care providers, consumers and government officials regarding the risk of addiction associated with OxyContin. Conway is seeking reimbursement of money spent on law enforcement, drug treatment programs and Medicaid prescriptions.

The Appalachian News Express reports Circuit Judge Steve Combs heard arguments during a hearing in Pikeville last week over whether the trial should be moved.

Attorneys for Purdue Pharma said it would be impossible to seat an impartial jury there and asked that the proceedings be moved to central Kentucky.

The attorney general's office said the trial should remain in Pikeville.

Health
8:46 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Kentucky to Study Impact of Law Targeting Prescription Pill Abuse

Kentucky officials will start a yearlong study next month to determine the effects of controversial new laws designed to curb prescription pill abuse.

The Courier-Journal reports the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has contracted with the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy's Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy on the study, which will run July 1 through June 30, 2014.

David Hopkins, who manages the state's prescription drug monitoring program called KASPER, said the study will look at several areas including changes in prescribing patterns, the impact on drug-treatment centers and whether the laws have had unintended consequences.

Those to be surveyed for the study include doctors, dentists and licensing boards. Researchers will also review data from the prescription drug monitoring program and statistics from hospitals and substance abuse centers.

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Health
12:36 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Pharmaceutical Company Helps Train Kentucky Law Enforcement to Address Pill Abuse

A national pharmaceutical company is helping train Kentucky law enforcement on how to address prescription pill abuse in their communities.

Purdue Pharma helps produce some of the prescriptions often abused in Kentucky, including OxyCotin.

But company executives say that for the last few years, Purdue Pharma has been helping to train law enforcement officials on how to help crack down on illegal prescribing and abuse.

As part of a free training seminar, Purdue officials are once again in Kentucky helping health care officials and law enforcement address potential pill abuse.

John Gilbride, a law enforcement liaison for Purdue, says the company has frequently held the seminars in the state.

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Health
12:54 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Kentucky Senate Committee Advances Fix to 2012 Pill Mill Legislation

A bill addressing issues with 2012's pill mill bill has cleared a state Senate committee, less than a day after it cleared the full House.

The bill calls off some regulations of the 2012 House Bill 1, which cracked down on prescription pain clinics and abuse.

It also exempts hospitals and long term care facilities from pulling KASPER reports every time they prescribe medication.

And while some regulations are being pulled back, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said the teeth in the original law are still strong.

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Health
8:32 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Considering Changes to Prescription Pill Bill Passed in 2012

Kentucky lawmakers agree some changes need to be made to a  law passed last year that cracks down on illegal "pill mills." But what exactly those changes should be remains open to debate.

The Courier-Journal reports legislators want to amend the law to make it more manageable for honest physicians, while still cracking down on doctors who have helped fuel prescription drug abuse in parts of Kentucky by writing scores of bogus prescriptions for pills that are later sold to addicts.

Many Kentucky doctors have complained to Governor Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway that the new rules are too cumbersome and confusing, and make it needlessly difficult for physicians to get pain medication to patients who need it.

Prescription Abuse
1:27 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Drug Overdose Rates Continue to Climb in Kentucky

Credit Webmd.com

A new report finds there has been an “alarming” increase in drug overdoses in Kentucky in recent years. The data compiled for the study was collected over an eleven year period.

The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center says drug overdose mortality rates increased 282 percent between 2000 and 2010. In the Bluegrass State, that means the overdose mortality rate has jumped from six deaths per one hundred thousand people to nearly 23 deaths per one hundred thousand people during that eleven year period.

The Research Center is located in the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, and is an agent for the Kentucky Department of Public Health.  The new report is based on an examination of  emergency departments, inpatient hospitalization statistics, and mortality data.

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