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Frankfort Local News

Beshear Urges More State-to-State Cooperation to Fight Prescription Pill Abuse

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is encouraging his peers to join him in fighting prescription pill abuse.

Beshear sent that message today at a prescription pill conference in Florida sponsored by Operation UNITE.

For the last few years, Beshear has reached out to Kentucky’s neighbors to share information on prescription pill tracking, in an attempt to reduce the problem in the commonwealth.

Partnerships with Ohio and Florida are the two most significant agreements Beshear has made, but in his remarks at the conference he encouraged all states to join in the fight against the abuses.

A bill dealing with prescription pill abuses is still lingering before lawmakers this week as they close out the legislative session on Thursday. Beshear is supportive of House Bill 4, but lawmakers and the Kentucky Medical Association are still arguing over details in the bill.

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Frankfort Local News

Prescription Pill Bill Will Be Voted on After Veto Recess

Confusion and last-minute lobbying have potentially derailed what some Kentucky lawmakers considered the hallmark of the current legislative session.

House Bill 4 is better known as the prescription pill bill. It’s centerpiece is the transfer of the KASPER drug tracking system to the attorney general’s office.

Late last week, it appeared lawmakers had struck a last-minute deal to pass the bill before this week’s recess. But confusion about which amended version of HB4 was up for a vote mired them in procedural minutiae.

Eventually, legislators decided to give up on the compromise until they come back to Frankfort for their last legislative day on April 12.

“Some people wanted to read through it. And after a week of 3 o clock mornings and things of that nature and the text of the respective things that have gone through today, people were actually tired and desirous of getting back home on the weekend and to their families and children and friends,” says Senator Robert Stivers.

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Frankfort Local News

House Passes Prescription Pill Bill, Hopes to Hatch a Compromise With Senate Version

A bill aimed at strengthening  prescription pill tracking  to crack down on abuse has cleared the Kentucky House.

The measure  is one of the chief priorities of House Speaker Greg Stumbo, whose work on the issue dates back to his time as attorney general.

House Bill 4 would move the KASPER pill tracking system to the attorney general’s office permanently, which is the key part of what Stumbo calls landmark legislation.

“KASPER is a law enforcement tool and by moving the oversight to the Attorney General’s office I think what will occur is that there will be a more rapid response by all of the entities involved in not only in the regulation but the investigation of these types of matters,” Stumbo said.

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Frankfort Local News

House Judiciary Committee Passes Two Bills That Would Overhaul Drug Enforcement

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee has overwhelmingly passed two bills to overhaul the state’s fight against drugs.

One bill deals with synthetic drugs. It would ban the manufacture of any drug that simulates an illegal substance or that contains certain chemical compounds.

The second bill is an overhaul of the KASPER system, which monitors prescription drugs. The bill puts KASPER under the Attorney General’s office and requires the board of medical licensure to crack down on reports that prescriptions are being over prescribed.

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Local News Politics

Florida Governor Reverses on Prescription Tracking Program

Florida Governor Rick Scott says he will support a compromise to implement a prescription pill tracking system in his state.

Scott originally sought to block a prescription database from being used, citing privacy concerns. The system is meant to stop illegal prescription sales. Because Floridian pill mills are a major supplier of prescription drugs abused in Kentucky and elsewhere, Scott came under fire from numerous state and federal officials to let the program take effect. Instead, Scott proposed using a grant from the federal government to create a law enforcement task force to fight the prescription problem.