Pill Mill Bill Facing Changes

By Michael Gossum | 

It's known as the pill mill bill, and it was meant to help fight prescription pill abuse in Kentucky.

However, some say it ended up punishing the wrong people.

"That was never the intent of most of the people involved in this process, but somehow that language wound up in house bill 1," said Tommy Loving, Warren County Drug Task Force.

"It's had a major impact on everyday citizens throughout the Commonwealth including in Warren County and south central Kentucky, because I've heard from them, literally hundreds of calls where people are having a hard time getting their medication," said Rep. Jim DeCesare (R) Rockfield.

So, what lawmakers spent 2012 trying to pass, they are spending 2013 trying to tweak.

"A lot of the nuances of the bill have needed some revision as any piece of legislation, but as an overarching theme we definitely thought the pill mill bill was a good thing and needed to happen," said Dr. Paul Maglinger, Interventional Pain Specialists.

Some of those nuances is what the house judiciary committee hopes to alleviate by making patients in nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice exempt from some of the rules intended to make it more difficult for addicts to get painkillers.

"Where really those are probably the lowest risk patients for having problems with abuse of these medications," said Maglinger.

Another focus was also not requiring low risk patients to have to go through extra procedures such as drug screenings.

Now, officials hope this will help fight the problem, but the fight against drugs is never the same.

"As Speaker Stumbo has said more than once, when you're looking at drug issues it's an ever changing field. You can never think you've finished once in for all," said Loving.

At least for now, there's somewhat of a resolution.

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