Kentucky is among 42 states with operational prescription-monitoring laws but few others require physicians to use the database to chronicle each patient and their drug use before prescribing as Kentucky does. And while the commonwealth allows its law-enforcement officers access to the database, the database is not controlled by the attorney general’s office but, as a nod to patient privacy, by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. In Vermont, legislators fought that battle earlier this year, with police there needing a warrant to access it. When Kentucky’s law enforcement officers were surveyed about the law in 2010, 73 percent said they found the tool “excellent” for obtaining evidence.
At the conference, a report citing a Centers for Disease Control review explained that data collected through 2005 in a limited number of studies
shows that having a prescription drug monitoring program in place had no clear impact on overdose mortality, Clark reports.