Ky. prescription monitoring praised in D.C. as Conway makes plea for national system

03/01/2012 06:06 PM

Kentucky’s system for monitoring prescriptions is one of the nation’s most advanced and will be even better once state lawmakers make changes and broaden law enforcement’s power to check it, the U.S. drug czar told a congressional panel on Thursday.

Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the office of National Drug Control Policy, toured Kentucky last year. And he said Kentucky’s KASPER (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting) System could be considered a model for other states.

More than 40 other states have some type of system. The problem is that they’re not all compatible

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway told the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the main thing they can do to attack the pain pill epidemic is to require all 50 states to install prescription pill monitoring systems and help them interconnect.

Florida had been the main supplier of addictive pain pills into Kentucky. Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi said since Florida changed its prescription laws and authorized funds to monitor those pills, the state has gone from having 98 of the 100 top prescribers of oxycodone to having 13.

Republican U.S. Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia asked if what works in states like Florida and Kentucky can be translated into a national system.

The hearing was chaired by California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, a Republican who also is co-chair of the caucus on prescription drug abuse.

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