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Legislators push for drug law changes

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Legislators are seeking to change a bill passed last year, that some say created an unattended consequence of making the seriously ill go through the same scrutiny as drug abusers.

It has been nearly a year since the legislators passed House Bill 1, commonly known as the Pill Mill Bill, and officials say it has, for the most part, done its job.

“From the original passage of House Bill 1, we've seen double digit decreases in the amount of prescriptions being written,” said Dan Smoot with Operation UNITE.

Something that local pharmacist, Cordell Brown has seen firsthand.

“People who are getting the prescriptions filled out of state, they're having difficulties getting them filled. They're not getting them here,” said Brown.

However, legislators agree the bill is not perfect.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would exempt patients in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice centers from the rules designed to stop drug addicts from getting painkillers.

“We knew that some small changes needed to take place for effective care to the elderly and to the hospitals,” said Smoot.

House Bill 217 has bi-partisan support from Governor Beshear, Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

“This is a prime example of how, where there is no politics or socioeconomic status to the bill, and this is something that cuts across all rounds of politics and socioeconomic status, that individuals can come up with a real solution,” said Stivers.

It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

The proposal comes after Governor Beshear pushed the idea in his annual State of the Commonwealth Speech.


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