As expected, finding a way to fight prescription drug abuse was back on the legislative agenda as lawmakers gathered for Day 1 of their special session. House Speaker Greg Stumbo introduced a bill today that will make it "mandatory for doctors to use the state's electronic reporting system for prescriptions, which would be moved from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the attorney general's office," report Jack Brammer and Beth Musgrave for the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Filed as House Bill 1, Stumbo said it "will correct damages caused by lobbyists for the Kentucky Medical Association in the final days of the regular session, when KMA inserted last-minute language that prevented mandatory use of this basic tool."
The bill also makes it possible for doctors who teach pain and addiction medicine at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville to be appointed by the governor to the boards that license doctors and nurses. "The KMA's lobbyists can no longer argue that such experts do not exist or, if they do, that they should not be on the licensing boards," Stumbo said. "It is unfortunate that KMA lobbyists sought to obscure this provision."
The bill, slightly altered from House Bill 4 that did not pass before the end of the legislative session Thursday, is considered by experts to be the cornerstone of this legislative session. (Read more)