In the absence of a national PDMP system, people are able to cross state lines to try to get prescription drugs via doctor-shopping or visiting pill mills. That’s why Kentucky, which has a model PDMP, is joining forces with bordering states Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia to create the Interstate Prescription Drug Task Force. “Our ultimate goal is for a provider to be able to go to their own state’s PDMP but to get data from other states at the same time,” said Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, which has the lead role over the four-state alliance. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear added, “Kentucky isn’t an island. We have to attack this problem on a nationwide basis and work with other states to share information if we hope to turn around the prescription drug problem.”
All 11 opioid treatment programs (OTPs) in Kentucky use KASPER (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting) at intake, said Mr. Ingram. “If a patient is coming in to get methadone, and they are being prescribed benzodiazepines for anxiety from someplace else, this is important for the OTP to know. These are two drugs that don’t mix well.” In some cases—varying from clinic to clinic and patient to patient—the OTP may access KASPER later in treatment, as well.