UPDATE, Jan. 6: House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover said at the state Chamber of Commerce dinner last night, “We will do something this session about this terrible plague,” which is “crippling our society.”
Gov. Steve Beshear received only two standing ovations during his State of the Commonwealth address last night, when he mentioned Kentucky soldiers and when he talked about fighting prescription drug abuse. (Photo by John Flavell, The Associated Press)
Beshear called the problem one “of the largest threats to productivity and health in our communities” and referred to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, which showed 32 percent of Kentuckians have either a family member or friend who has battled prescription drug abuse. A report from the Kentucky Department of Public Health showed more Kentuckians die from prescription drug overdoses than from car accidents.
“Think about that: Our medicine cabinets are deadlier than our highways,” Beshear said. As such, legislators should expect “to consider a wide-ranging package of legislation designed to strengthen KASPER, including making participation mandatory, and cracking down on pill pushers in white coats and on pill mills in Kentucky.” Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting is the state’s prescription drug monitoring system.
Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, has pre-filed a bill that would require background checks for people planning to open pain clinics, prohibit convicted felons from running them, and required that a physician in such a clinic own part of it.
To view the entirety of Beshear’s address, click here.