Bill aimed at curbing pill problem

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

Some lawmakers in Kentucky are doing their part to fight the pill problem in the state.

This legislation is already gaining support in eastern Kentucky from both law enforcement and doctors.

"We've been working with other agencies to try and combat the problem because most of our crime in this area goes back to the pill problem," said John Epperson with Paintsville Police.

The bill filed on Thursday by Speaker Greg Stumbo will require anyone who prescribes pain pills to use the KASPER computer tracking system, and police will have access to the records.

"It will also help us track suspected abusers and drug abusers, where they are getting medication and how much," said Epperson.

And, only doctors will be allowed to own pain clinics, and they can only prescribe a 30 day supply of the medication at a time.

"I think it will make a dent. I don't think it will solve the problem, but I think it's a step in the right direction," said Dr. Mitchell Wicker at the Hazard Clinic.

In Florida, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer says new legislation and a similar computer tracking system have helped dry up the Florida pipeline.

"We have taken down clinics, owners of clinics, operators of clinics. We have indicted and charged doctors," said Wifredo Ferrer.

Dr. Wicker already uses the KASPER system, and he says most good physicians is state also do.

Currently only distributors, like pharmacies, are required to use KASPER in Kentucky.

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