New law doubles doctors who report prescriptions, might have led to clinics closing, Beshear says

07/24/2012 03:52 PM

Governor Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway said Tuesday that Kentucky’s new prescription monitoring law already has doubled the number of doctors who are reporting their prescriptions to the computerized state system and could be contributing to the closure of some pain clinics.

Beshear and Conway, however, could not give details on why the clinics mentioned were closing their doors and if it specifically had to do with the new rules from the legislation the General Assembly passed in April.

Conway said two of the four clinics had been investigated by law enforcement in the past but could not give any more information because it is an ongoing investigation.

House Bill 1, nicknamed the “pill mill bill,” includes elements aimed at preventing abuse of prescription drugs and enhancing the ability of law enforcement to investigate illegal prescribing practices.

Beshear stated legislation would not penalize patients who legitimately need pain medication but would instead enable doctors to prescribe with more precision with the information provided by the bill.

Drug overdoses cause nearly 1,000 deaths per year in Kentucky, according to Kentucky’s Drug Control Policy Office.

Beshear blamed the number of deaths in the state on drug addicts who shop for doctors to give them more pills and the fact that before the passage of the pill mill bill, the state didn’t have a way to consistently track information on when and where patients have been prescribed these medications.

The new law went into effect earlier this week but under the bill, doctors have an educational period until Oct. 1 to get used to the rules.

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