At the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando Tuesday, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear called for states and the federal government to develop aggressive shared tactics to thwart the devastating scourge of prescription drug abuse.
Beshear also encouraged Kentucky legislators to keep the state on the leading edge of effective anti-drug strategies by passing a broad prescription drug bill on the final day of the legislative session this week.
“We need the medical community, treatment facilities, education, the business sector, law enforcement, advocates, insurance industry, workers’ comp officials, and elected officials on the local, state and federal levels to step up, to listen and to be heard. Collaboration and cooperation are essential,” said Beshear.
The three-day summit, sponsored by Kentucky-based Project UNITE, featured 100 leaders and experts from across the country who shared techniques to reduce the spread of abuse of prescription drugs. Speakers included Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske, Rep. Hal Rogers, and Centers for Disease Control Principal Deputy Director Ileana Arias. The summit is expected to attract about 700 attendees.
One piece of Kentucky legislation, House Bill 4 (HB 4) offers numerous tools to prevent or reduce prescription drug abuse, and Gov. Beshear called on the Kentucky legislature to pass the bill on the final day of session Thursday. Among other things, HB 4 would require pain management clinics to be owned by a licensed medical practitioner, mandate participation in KASPER, Kentucky’s successful electronic prescription monitoring program, and require immediate investigation of prescribing complaints.