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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Prescription Monitoring Program Receives $400,000 Federal Grant

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 24, 2008  
Contact Information:  Janis Stewart, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3326
or Vikki Franklin, ext. 3429
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept.24, 2008) – Kentucky’s acclaimed computer tracking system for combating illegal prescription drugs has received $400,000 to continue its work and improve efficiency.


 The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) received the prescription drug monitoring program grant for its KASPER (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting) program from the U.S. Department of Justice for Sept. 1, 2008 through Aug. 31, 2010. The funding is earmarked to increase KASPER use by health care and law enforcement professionals, expand analysis of KASPER data to support improvements in public health and safety, and to foster collaboration and data sharing with other states that have prescription monitoring programs.


 “We are fortunate to receive this federal grant to continue and expand our nationally recognized work as a premier prescription drug monitoring program,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Abuse, misuse, diversion and illegal sale of prescription drugs are some of the greatest threats facing the safety and welfare of Kentucky citizens today. KASPER is a rich source of information for practitioners and pharmacists, and a tremendous investigative tool for law enforcement to assist in solving these problems.”


The KASPER program, in the CHFS Office of Inspector General, started in 1999 as a fax-based system and in 2005 was converted to the first self-service, Web-based system of its kind. It tracks all schedule II-IV controlled substance prescriptions dispensed by licensed pharmacists within the commonwealth and helps medical practitioners physicians, pharmacists and law enforcement fight “doctor shopping.” A KASPER report shows all scheduled prescriptions for an individual over a specified time period, the prescriber and the dispenser.


Access to KASPER reports is carefully controlled through identity and credential checks, coupled with secure Web access. KASPER reports are available only to prescribers for medical treatment of a current or prospective patient; licensed dispensers of pharmaceuticals; law enforcement officers for a bona fide, drug-related investigation; licensure boards for an investigation of a licensee; qualified Medicaid staff for recipient review; a grand jury by subpoena; and a judge or probation or parole officer administering a drug diversion or probation program.


Approximately 1,300 pharmacies across the state report all controlled substances they dispense through this system.


Use of the KASPER system has grown significantly. During its first reporting year in 2000, there were 36,172 requests for information from KASPER; in 2004 that number jumped to 122,469 requests, and last year 361,658 requests were made. Before KASPER, it took OIG drug investigators about 156 days to complete an investigation of alleged drug diversion. Under KASPER, the average time dropped to 16 days.


“KASPER provides an opportunity for a medical practitioner or a pharmacist to access a person's controlled substance history on the computer and catch a problem before it escalates, offer counseling and potentially save lives,” said Inspector General Sadiqa Reynolds.


For more information on KASPER, contact the Drug Enforcement and Professionals Practices Branch at (502) 564-7985 or visit http://chfs.ky.gov/os/oig/KASPER.htm.

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Last Updated 9/24/2008