Pill-related measures move forward in both chambers, setting up potential of mega-bill

03/08/2012 04:42 PM

The House on Thursday approved a bill giving more power to the attorney general to investigate prescription pill abuse, while a Senate panel passed a measure that would regulate pain clinics to prevent them from becoming pill mills.

House Bill 4 sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, moves the prescription monitoring system from the state’s Health and Family Services Cabinet to the attorney general’s office so that investigators can better monitor doctors who are over-prescribing. Right now, investigators only can gain access to that information if they have an open case on an individual.

The measure also requires all doctors and pharmacists to register with that system, the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting or KASPER system.

Senate Bill 2 , meanwhile, mandates that only doctors can run pain clinics — not “entrepreneurs” who have opened so-called pill mills in counties such as Marion that freely dole out prescription for pain medicine.

Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it’s looking like the two approaches are likely to be merged into one omnibus drug bill by the end of the session. Here’s part of the interview about that:

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