Pill Mill Bills on Kentucky Tonight

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

After a successful Telefund 2012 campaign, we’re back on KET this Monday night with an important discussion and debate on Kentucky’s pain pill epidemic.

As this year’s session of the General Assembly enters its final days, two competing bills aimed at solving the state’s growing problem with prescription drug abuse will face lawmakers.

House Bill 4, sponsored by Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, would move control of the electronic prescription monitoring program to Attorney General Jack Conway’s office. Speaker Stumbo says the move will strengthen the oversight of pill and some pain clinics that experts agree claim the lives of nearly 1,000 Kentuckians a year.

The competing bill comes from the State Senate. Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Senator Jimmy Higdon, would leave control of the drug monitoring system called KASPER, the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System, with the state health department.

It’s likely the two bills are headed for a conference committee compromise between members of the State House and Senate. The important aspect of the debate is that it casts attention and action on the Commonwealth’s growing drug abuse problem and everyone is in favor of that.

Our guests include State Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; State Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway; Dr. Shawn Jones, president of the Kentucky Medical Association.

It will be good to be back with you on Kentucky Tonight. Remember, you can call in or contact us online or by social media at 8/7 pm CT on KET.

Viewers with questions and comments may call 1-800-494-7605, send email, including name and town or county, to kytonight@ket.org, or use the message form at www.ket.org/kytonight. Viewers can also submit questions and comments on Twitter @BillKET, #kytonight, or on Kentucky Educational Television’s Facebook page.

Kentucky Tonight programs are archived online, made available via podcast, and rebroadcast on KET and KET KY. Archived programs, information about podcasts, and broadcast schedules are available at www.ket.org/kytonight.

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