Press Release 2014

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Contact: CDC Media Relations 
(404) 639-3286

CDC awards over $1 Million to Kentucky to address prescription drug overdose prevention

Making a difference by serving as a model of prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that Kentucky will receive more than $1 million over the next three years to enhance its prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).

The announcement was made last night by CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., at an event with U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY 05). CDC will provide the funding through its partner the University of Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center. The funding will help the state to enhance its prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) and evaluate its innovative prescription drug overdose prevention policies.

“Prescription drug overdose is an epidemic in the United States. We remain committed to providing states with the resources, expertise, and data they need to protect patients and save lives.” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “States are at the front lines of this epidemic, and as the nation’s public health agency CDC is committed to helping them any way we can.”

Kentucky has third highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States. With these resources and CDC’s support, Kentucky will continue to make progress against this epidemic and serve as a model of prevention for the rest of the country. To date, Kentucky has passed comprehensive legislation to tackle this issue, including a pain clinic law and improvements that have made its PDMP one of the strongest in the country. The early report of impact from Kentucky’s universal PDMP is encouraging. After Kentucky made its PDMP universal, (requiring providers to check the PDMP before prescribing a controlled substance), the state saw:

  • The number of PDMP report requests increase from 811,000 to nearly 2.7 million in the following years.
  • A nearly 9 percent decline in controlled substance dispensing, including 10 percent and 12 percent drops in hydrocodone and oxycodone dispensing.

The Prescription Drug Overdose: Boost for State Prevention program will give states a surge of resources and direct support from CDC to advance the most promising prevention strategies. Overall, CDC has committed $6 million over the next three years to help five states improve their prescription drug monitoring programs, advance innovative public insurance programs to prevent opioid abuse, and conduct rigorous state policy evaluations to sharpen our understanding of the most effective prevention strategies. The advances made by these states could then serve as a model for the rest of the country. The additional states will be announced in the coming weeks.

CDC’s Injury Center works to protect the safety of everyone, every day. For more information about prescription drug overdoses, please visit

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