Legislators move closer to compromise on H.B. 4 that's aimed at curbing pill abuse, Stivers says

04/09/2012 07:48 AM

Legislative leaders are making progress in trying to iron out last-minute wrinkles with a bill aimed at curtailing prescription pill abuse in Kentucky, said Senate GOP floor leader Robert Stivers of Manchester.

Stivers said Friday on Pure Politics they are trying to negotiate over a provision that would limit the amount of pain pills that can be received through mail order to 30 days from 90 days. Stivers said they could leave that at 90 days because too many legislators are concerned limiting it to a months supply will lead to higher co-pay costs for consumers.

“I think that’s one of the provisions that if we take care of, a substantial number of votes come with that change and gets us to the point where we can pass it,” Stivers said. (1:00).

Stivers also said the Kentucky Medical Association renewed its lobbying to keep the KASPER prescription monitoring system from the health cabinet to the attorney generals. Doctors have said they want to police themselves, but as Stivers said, that hasn’t worked well so far with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure failing to cite doctors who have chronically been over prescribing.

Stivers said he’s confident the General Assembly can work out the details to pass a version of House Bill 4 on Thursday.

“It’s one that everyone knows there’s a problem but you don’t want to impede or have more costs to legitimate consumers, but you want to stop the … illegal use of prescription drugs,” Stivers said (2:30)

Stivers was among a bipartisan group of officials who issued a joint statement through the governor’s office on Friday urging final passage of the pill bill on April 12. Democrats including Gov. Steve Beshear, Attorney General Jack Conway, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley and Stivers and his fellow Republican Sen. Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon all said the legislation was too important to leave on the shelf.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.