A bill addressing problems with last year's prescription pill mill bill has cleared the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo is sponsoring the bill, which reduces some tough regulations that followed the pill mill bill. The legislation, House Bill 217, requires hospitals and long term care facilities to still pull KASPER reports, but lessens other regulations on them. The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER) tracks controlled substance prescriptions dispensed within the state.
Stumbo told lawmakers that the bill would help codify easier regulations that were recently published and that the effort to crackdown on prescription pill abuse was effective.
"But you have a reason to be proud if you supported that bill because it's working. It's working from Pikeville to Paducah," he says.
Pressure is building on Kentucky lawmakers to refine "pill mill" legislation.
Since it was enacted last year some physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers have complained its provisions are overly cumbersome. But Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Director Van Ingram says almost two-thirds of abusers don't get medications from doctors. He says they often steal medications from homes.
Still, Ingram believes the state's crackdown on prescription drug abuse through the pill mill law is working. He says it's prompted almost all pain clinics in the Commonwealth to shut down, leaving only eight now applying to meet the new regulatory process.