House moves forward with approach to give attorney general more power to monitor prescriptions

03/01/2012 07:16 AM

Kentucky’s attorney general should have broader powers to police pain pills in the commonwealth, House Speaker Greg Stumbo told his colleagues Wednesday.

Stumbo, a former attorney general, sponsored House Bill 4, which is aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to find doctors who are using their prescription pads to deal drugs. It would move the KASPER prescription monitoring system from the Health and Family Services Cabinet to the attorney general’s office.

The measure passed the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday without a dissenting vote, although Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, passed. Here’s how Stumbo pitched the bill:

The Board of Medical Licensure has been responsible for monitoring and disciplining doctors who are over-prescribing pain medication, but Stumbo said they have not been blowing the whistle.

Doctors have been lobbying Senators to keep access to KASPER over in the state health cabinet.

Pain treatment officials who say they’ve been following the law also voiced their concerns over the bill.

State Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, also has proposed legislation that would tighten regulations on pain clinics to ensure they are being run by doctors not fly-by-night operations that serve as “pill mills.” Stumbo said the bills were not meant to compete with one another and hopes to merge the two proposals.

Representatives voting for the bill in committee were: Bell, Fischer, Flood, Gregory, Hoover, Jenkins, Kerr, Marzian, Nemes, Reiner, Rudy, Yonts, and Tilley.
Owens passed on a vote.

House Bill 4 will now go to the house floor for debate.

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