Local News Politics

by Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s system for tracking prescription drug sales is “forward leaning” but it’s not enough to curb abuse. That’s according to U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske.

Speaking to the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, Kerlikowske said the system, known as KASPER, and similar initiatives in other states work well, but they need to work together.

“During our four day trip to eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, we learned that doctors had to access multiple systems: those in Ohio, those in West Virginia, those in Kentucky. When it came to checking on patients and making sure they weren’t over prescribing for patients who were, in fact, seeing other physicians,” he said.

Kerlikowske says an electronic monitoring system that includes data from every state would better prevent doctor shopping, where patients cross state lines and obtain prescription drugs from multiple doctors.