State lawmakers will consider bill aimed at curbing pill abuse

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

The "pill bill" state lawmakers will consider during the special session is designed to crack down on doctors who over-prescribe and other ways people get pills illegally.

On Wednesday, police and sheriff's deputies in Whitley County arrested a dozen people on charges related to dealing prescription pills.

"These prescription drugs are a problem, a major problem and control them is what we're trying to do," said Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.

Some state lawmakers say the proposed House Bill 4, known as the "pill bill" would help. It did not pass during the regular session but will be considered in a special session starting on Monday.

"I'm very disappointed. Just thank goodness we have a second chance on it that it didn't quickly drop off the radar screen until next year. We're losing at least three people per day. Pain pills are killing more Kentuckians than automobile accidents are, so there's obviously a pressing need," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg).

If passed, the bill would move the prescription pill monitoring system KASPER from the Cabinet for Human Services to law enforcement under the Attorney General's office. Also, only licensed doctors could own pain clinics.

Stumbo says the bill has support on both sides of the political aisle. He told WYMT the House will pass the bill next week then it will move to the Senate.

Attorney General Jack Conway issued a statement saying he is disappointed lawmakers failed to pass a comprehensive bill to fight drug abuse and says he favors Stumbo's original bill.

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