FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Doctors are complaining that Kentucky's crackdown on prescription pill abuse is having an unintended consequence in the state's hospitals because bureaucratic hurdles are forcing legitimate patients to wait on pain medications.
Lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that requires physicians to tap into the state's prescription monitoring system to review their patients' drug histories.
Doctors told lawmakers Wednesday that the bureaucratic red tape has become an issue in hospitals when patients clearly need medication quickly to ease their pain.
Lawmakers considered the new law a critical step in fighting prescription drug abuse in Kentucky where more people have been dying from overdoses than car wrecks.
Gov. Steve Beshear has called prescription drug abuse a scourge in the state, and he pushed for the new law to help stamp it out.