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All states must link their prescription drug monitoring programs in order to successfully fight “pill mills” and painkiller abuse, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said this week at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando.

Beshear called prescription painkiller abuse “a scourge and an epidemic” that is “causing untold misery on families, filling jails and treatment centers and draining our resources,” the Associated Press reports.

“No state or community is an island. It will take all of us – working across geographical and agency borders – to make headway against prescription drug abuse,” Beshear said in a statement. He is urging legislators in Kentucky to pass a bill this week that would require pain management clinics to be owned by licensed physicians. The measure also would give the Attorney General control of prescription monitoring data.

Last month, Beshear announced the state would sign an agreement to share and receive prescription drug dispensing data with at least 20 other states. The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting program will join the National Association of Board of Pharmacy’s Prescription Monitoring Program InterConnect, a system that allows prescription drug abuse information to be shared across state lines.

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