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May 10, 2018

Bills Will Improve Prescription Drug Monitoring, Better Treatment Options including medication assisted

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 10, 2018) – In a time where Kentucky is among the worst states in the nation for opioid abuse,  representative Danny Bentley continued his work on anti-drug issues in the Kentucky House of Representatives this session.

Rep. Danny BentleyRep. Danny BentleyBentley authored and passed two pieces of legislation in the 2018 Session that will allow the Commonwealth to take a large step forward in this fight.

House Bill 246 takes a revolutionary step forward in providing medication-assisted therapy as a treatment program for drug abuse.

This legislation establishes a pilot project to allow local pharmacies to administer this medication-based treatment, in order to test its effectiveness.

The goals of this newer, more innovative approach to drug treatment are to reduce the frequency of drug lapses, lower treatment costs by creating more options, and provide better health outcomes to those struggling from the pain of addiction. The pilot program also includes a mental health component to dealing with addiction, and also does not involve any controlled substances.

“I am excited about the new opportunities that this program will provide for empowering individuals to overcome the scourge of drug abuse,” said Bentley, who also been a leader in the House when it comes to tackling the drug issue. “Addiction is plaguing our communities, and we must be vigilant in seeking new approaches to helping our citizens in need. Further, I am grateful for Rep. Addia Wuchner’s leadership in allowing me to move this bill through her committee.”

Wuchner, a Republican Representative from Florence and Chairwoman of the House Health and Family Services Committee, is retiring at the end of 2018.

Meanwhile, House Bill 213 expands Kentucky’s prescription monitoring capabilities by allowing the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to enter into sharing agreements with other jurisdictions.

The Commonwealth utilizes KASPER, or the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting, in order to track controlled substance prescriptions that are dispensed. It serves as both a source of information for doctors and pharmacists as well as a tool for law enforcement to utilize in the fight to eradicate substance abuse.

As it presently exists, the Cabinet can only enter into contracts with states. With this legislation, Kentucky can enter into agreements with local jurisdictions, including counties.

“This legislation will open up new doors for tracking down wrongdoing and keeping prescription drug abuse in check,” said Rep. Bentley.

Bentley, a pharmacist and member of the House Committee on Health and Family Services, has dedicated his time in the General Assembly to combatting the drug epidemic. His efforts to expand the monitoring of prescription drugs as well as to provide more effective treatment options have been applauded by both Republicans and Democrats.


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