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Frankfort Panel Approves New Limits On Painkillers, Tougher Fentanyl Penalty

J. Tyler Franklin

Doctors would only be able to prescribe three days’ worth of pain killers under a bill that passed out of a legislative committee in Frankfort on Wednesday. The legislation would also increase penalties for trafficking fentanyl and other synthetic opioid drugs.

Gov. Matt Bevin is supporting the legislation, saying he wants to enhance punishments against dealers of the synthetic drugs.

“We are going to crush that in Kentucky," Bevin said. "We are going to make it more difficult to be such a person in this state than any state in the country.”

Bevin also said the state needs to step in and limit Schedule II pain pill prescriptions to a three day supply.
The legislation creates several exemptions in which doctors would be allowed to prescribe more than a three day supply if the drug is prescribed for chronic pain, cancer or end-of-life treatment.

Several lawmakers expressed concerns that the pain pill restrictions would prevent worthy patients from accessing treatment.

“What do we say to some elderly patients who quite frankly can’t get up and go to the doctor every three days?" said Republican Rep. Stan Lee.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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