Lawmakers Feel Pressure From "Pill Mill" Legislation

Jan 28, 2013

Pressure’s building on Kentucky lawmakers to refine their “Pill Mill” legislation.  Since it was enacted last year, some physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers complain its provisions are overly cumbersome.

But, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Director Van Ingram said almost two-third of abusers don’t get medications from doctor.

“There are people in and out of our homes that can take those medications and often that’s how the road to addiction starts with the casual use of somebody else’s medication,” Ingram said. "There was a provision in House bill one that grandfathered existing non physician owned pain clinics.  So many of them could meet the standard, didn’t try to meet the standard.  They just packed up and moved out"

Still, Ingram believes the state’s crack down on prescription drug abuse through the ‘pill mill’ law is working.  He said it prompted most all pain clinics to shut down.  He said about eight are now applying to meet the Commonwealth’s new regulatory process.  

Dave Hopkins, who oversees the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, agrees some of the law’s provisions are probably not necessary.

"The controlled substances administered to a patient in a hospital really can’t be diverted," Hopkins said. "They’re not going to be diverted because it’s actually being administered.  So I think that’s an adjustment in house bill one, probably the only one that I’m aware of that needs to be changed, or my opinion we need to see that changed.”