Governor continues push for Kentucky General Assembly to approve wide-ranging prescription drug bill on final day of legislative session
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 10, 2012) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear called Tuesday for states and the federal government to develop aggressive shared tactics to thwart the devastating scourge of prescription drug abuse.
He spoke at the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, where he 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,” Beshear said. “No state or community is an island. It will take all of us – working across geographical and agency borders – to make headway against prescription drug abuse.”
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. The summit is expected to attract about 700 attendees.
“I believe we are building a critical mass of urgency that includes law enforcement, government, the medical community, treatment and education,” Beshear said. “It’s heartening that this issue is getting the attention it deserves, but the fact remains that thousands of our families and communities are unraveling because of these drugs. The need for a broad-based response is urgent.”
One key piece of Kentucky legislation, House Bill 4 (HB 4) offers numerous tools to prevent or reduce prescription drug abuse, and
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.
Beshear also outlined the numerous steps that his administration already has implemented to assist law enforcement and communities.
He returned Tuesday afternoon to Frankfort.
For more information on the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, visit http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org.