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Kentucky Physicians Worried About New Prescription Pill Law

Some doctors are expressing concerns about new regulations that require them to meet tougher prescription standards in an effort to stop drug abuse.

Dr. Gregory Hood, a Lexington internist with the Kentucky chapter of the American College of Physicians, told The Kentucky Enquirer that the law passed earlier this year by legislators likely will mean some doctors will stop writing prescriptions for controlled substances that treat pain and anxiety.

Doctors and other medical professionals will have a chance on Wednesday during a hearing in Frankfort to express their concerns.

The statute passed by lawmakers this year said licensing boards should "police their own industry" and gave them until Sept. 1 to draft a final plan. Gov. Steve Beshear has signed emergency regulations that put measures into place until then.

"We will try and still use the full extent of our medical education to treat patients, but there are already doctors saying no more prescriptions on a green prescription pads," Hood said.

He said the concern is more than just legal liability — it can also infringe on patient confidentiality. Hood said he couldn't give needed medicine to a recent patient who suffered a panic attack after telling him about a history of abuse because results of a drug screening required by the law would come to her house and could be seen by her husband, he said.

"The paper trail would lead to discovery," Hood said.

Doctors say they want more flexibility to deal with a variety of issues they must deal with.

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