Conway Calls for Federal Help to Monitor Prescription Drugs

Mar 1, 2012

While the Kentucky General Assembly considers legislation aimed at reducing the state’s prescription drug epidemic, Attorney General Jack Conway is taking his message about painkillers to Washington. Conway testified Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He asked for federal help in creating a nationwide prescription monitoring system.

“Kentucky borders seven states. The pharmacists, when they fill a script, enter the data that goes into a system that doctors later check. The problem for us has been that docs don’t want to be forced to do this. And they don’t have a system that they think is user friendly that takes 30 seconds or less and tells you, if you’re in eastern Kentucky, whether or not this patient has been to West Virginia, Ohio, or Virginia or Tennessee."

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske also spoke at the congressional hearing. He praised Kentucky’s prescription monitoring program, but says it’s not a priority for many states due to budget limitations.