This is a trend that is shattering lives and we must address it now.
To combat this growing problem, I have reintroduced a bill that would reauthorize a program I originally authored in 2005 known as the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER).
Upon enactment, NASPER established a federal program assisting in the creation, improvement or expansion of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) and for the sharing of prescription data electronically among states. Presently, 42 PDMPs are operating or pending implementation. NASPER has also helped states establish a uniform electronic format for the reporting and sharing of prescription data as well as uniform criteria for access to the data by healthcare professionals and law enforcement officials.
NASPER was designed to allow physicians the ability to prescribe proper medication to patients, while also cracking down on the interstate trafficking of prescription medications and patients who are simply “doctor shopping.” As some states scale back or eliminate their PDMP programs, I am fearful that prescription drug abuse will continue to rise as those abusing and trafficking prescription medicines go unmonitored.
With prescription drug abuse on the rise, it is more important than ever that we reauthorize this important weapon in reversing these statistics, both in Kentucky and across the nation. NASPER is essential to identifying patients at risk for addiction and preventing drug trafficking across state lines. In the coming weeks, I will continue working with colleagues in the House and the Senate to ensure NASPER is reauthorized to thwart drug abuse and stop the deadly flow of prescription drugs across the country.