The House has passed legislation that would make it easier to identify and prosecute unscrupulous doctors who over-prescribe painkillers that are being widely abused in Kentucky.
The measure passed 70-28.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo sponsored the measure that he said is crucial in a state where nearly 1,000 people are dying from drug overdoses each year.
The measure would require all physicians to tap into the state's prescription monitoring system to determine if patients seeking painkillers or anti-anxiety drugs have recently gotten similar medications from other doctors. Investigators from the attorney general's office also would monitor the prescribing practices of doctors, allowing quick investigations into questionable behavior.