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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kentucky Changes Prescription Drug Law

The American prescription drug abuse epidemic has affected some states more than others; in turn, states have differed on how to combat the problem. There are a number of opinions floating around regarding the subject, some believe that shutting down "pill mills" and pain management clinics is all that is needed, while others believe that restricting doctors abilities to prescribe narcotics is the answer. Maybe both groups are right!

Last year legislation was passed in the state of Kentucky that was designed to make it harder for people to obtain opiate pain medication. The new rules were successful in a number of ways; however, there were some unforeseen consequences. In an effort to fix the problem, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear approved legislation this week altering the state’s new prescription drug law making it easier for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice centers to receive painkillers.

The original law had the unintended consequence of making it very difficult for patients in institutional settings to obtain pain relief, the Associated Press reports.  

 

“House Bill 1, which passed last year, was a remarkable and comprehensive effort to create real and substantial changes to upend prescription drug abuse, and it’s working,” Governor Beshear said in a news release. “Unlicensed pain management clinics have closed up shop. Prescriptions for the most addictive drugs have dropped every month since implementation. However, we recognized that a few issues needed to be worked out for the comfort of the most pain-stricken patients and for the practical needs of physicians, particularly in in-patient and long-term care settings.”
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