Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lawyers representing a variety of medical organizations from across Kentucky say a new state law aimed at combating prescription drug abuse has had unintended consequences. Lawmakers heard testimony today in Frankfort on the effectiveness of House Bill 1, which requires physicians to use the KASPER prescription monitoring program and take additional administrative action before dispensing medication. Dr. Michael Harned, a pain specialist for Lexington Clinic, says many medical professionals fear legal action if they don’t follow the new regulations, and have decided to no longer write prescriptions for controlled substances:
"Recently Governor Beshear made the statement that patients who need pain medication will still be able to get them. This in fact may not be accurate. I sit here today as a physician concerned that HB 1 has decreased or even cut off access to pain management services for the residents of Kentucky."
Harned says many medical professionals fear legal and civil penalties for not following the burdensome law. Senator Robert Stivers says an oversight committee will continue reviewing critiques and recommendations for changes to HB 1, but says there are still some misunderstandings about what the law can and cannot do.