Kentucky “Pill Mill Bill” Amended by House Bill 217

March 6, 2013
Legal Updates

Yesterday Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law House Bill 217 (HB 217), which modifies the state's prescription drug law passed during the 2012 special legislative session.

The 2012 legislation, commonly referred to as the "pill mill bill" or House Bill 1, was passed to combat prescription drug abuse in Kentucky through the close regulation of pain management clinics and the implementation of new standards on those prescribing and dispensing controlled substances.

Gov. Beshear and many lawmakers have touted the success of the law in closing pills mills and curbing painkiller abuse, but they have also acknowledged the law's unintended consequences. HB 217 alters the 2012 legislation to address some of these unintended consequences while preserving its original intent.

HB 217 provides that the administrative regulations promulgated under the prescription drug law must be modified to reflect numerous changes to the law. Key changes to the 2012 legislation made by HB 217 and the accompanying regulations include the following modifications to the required prescribing and dispensing protocol and reporting requirements:

Furthermore, HB 217 provides that the administrative regulations may provide special exemptions to certain licensed providers. The regulations offer exemptions to the additional standards for prescribing or dispensing a Schedule II controlled substance or a Schedule III controlled substance containing hydrocodone to the following providers:

Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and physician practices should be aware of how changes to the prescription drug law affect their operations.  The administrative regulations promulgated under the prescription drug law provide important additional insight into the requirements of healthcare entities involved in the issuance of controlled substances in Kentucky. Policies and procedures incorporating the new standards on those prescribing and dispensing controlled substances will need to be updated accordingly.

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