New Ky. Law Curbs Prescription Drug Abuse

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 11:22 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Democratic and Republican leaders in Kentucky say the state's new prescription law is slowing drug abuse and leading to disciplinary actions against doctors committing prescription violations.
 
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, state Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, and state Republican Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers believe the law is benefitting families and communities, despite opposition from some in state's medical industry.
 
“I’m sorry that some doctors have led their patients to believe that this legislation somehow makes it more difficult for them to prescribe needed medicine,” Stumbo said Tuesday, according to the Courier-Journal. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Protecting patients is at the heart of this law.”
 
The law increases regulations on pain clinics and requires doctors to follow strict standards when writing prescriptions.
 
As a result of the law, 18 out of 44 pain management clinics were closed across the state this year or were forced discontinue pain medication services. Onsite inspections of clinics have also increased under the law.
 
Kentucky doctors are also writing fewer prescriptions for some of the most abused drugs and at least 33 physicians have been disciplined by the state Board of Medical Licensure for prescription violations so far this year  compared to 18 last year.
 
“Too many families and communities have been shattered by prescription drug abuse," Beshear said Tuesday. "We will not let up on these doctor shoppers and greed-driven practitioners who continue to supply these poisons to addicted Kentuckians.”
 
Despite the praise for the new law, many in the medical industry say the rules are too strict and make it difficult to prescribe medications to those who really need them. Some lawmakers agree and want changes made to the regulations.
 
 

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