by Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio
A Kentucky Congressman is receiving high marks from the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Director Thomas Frieden was the keynote speaker for the Keeneland 2012 Public Health Services and Systems Research Conference in Lexington this week. He singled out Fifth District Representative Hal Rogers for his dedication to tackling prescription drug abuse.
“Hal Rogers has been really a leader in the fight against prescription drug overdoses,” Frieden said. “He rang the alarm early and he’s been a leader in helping to get the programs up and running around the country. We need now to optimize them, implement them, and ensure that we can make them effective at confronting this epidemic.”
Frieden also credited Rogers for being one of the first Congressman to “sound the alarm” about what many are now calling an epidemic.
“Improving clinical practice, increasing access to substance abuse treatment, strengthening prescription drug monitoring programs which Congressman Rogers has been instrumental in helping to create across the country, leveraging insurer and pharmacy benefit managers in enforcing laws, policies, and regulations can make a really big difference,” he said.
Frieden told attendees that enough opiates are prescribed each year to give every adult in America one dose every four hours for a month. At a conference on prescription drug abuse earlier this month in Florida, Congressman Rogers renewed his call for a national prescription drug monitoring program.