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KASPER Expands!

Yes, if you read the Enquirer this week you will know that KASPER, the Kentucky prescription reporting, has now expanded to Indiana and Ohio. Pharmacists and physicians in the three states will soon, if not now, have access to all prescription history for a patient in all three states. The idea is to prevent Rx pill shopping and patients from receiving multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors for the same thing (pain). This can also be used to initiate criminal prosecution. It will be interesting to see if this results in an increase in prosecution and whether the state or federal authorities will undertake prosecution. It is illegal in each state to obtain prescription by fraud; which is generally determined to include not telling your doctor the full truth about other prescriptions. Interestingly, very few doctors want to become involved in criminal prosecution - likely due to the time involved for which they are not compensated. Most physicians simply discharge the patient. Pharmacists, however, not only do not fill the prescription, but often inform the authorities if they suspect pill shopping. Most prosecutions to date have occurred at the state level and it is expected this will continue. That said, with the interstate compact between Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, this may change. One interesting defense is the HIPPA laws that prevent the disclosure of a patient's medical records. Prescription drugs are certainly considered part of the patient's records. It will be interesting to see how the courts determine the state law and their desire for disclosure versus the federal law prohibiting the same. Are the states violating federal HIPPA laws? Do the states have immunity? All of this is to be determined. Moreover, most would argue that this is, if nothing else, an invasion of privacy. Patients are becoming more distraught once they are discharged from their doctor. Especially those with chronic pain, those patients are finding it difficult to find another physician who will treat them and prescribe medication. As a criminal defense attorney, I have defended these types of cases from those that are guilty as well as those that are innocent.

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