Kansas State Representative John R. Eplee
State Representative John R. Eplee’s office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 10/7/2018 1:32:35 PM.
What district of Kansas do you represent?
Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?
We certainly have a crisis in our state, but not near as serious as other parts of the US
What are the two or three most significant bills that have been introduced in your chamber to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state?
1. Fully fund our opioid tracking system called K-Tracs. 2. Allow law enforcement to have access to K-tracs information on opioid prescribers
What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?
1. I spoke and advocated for full funding for K-Tracs and was successful in appropriations. 2. In informational meetings as a physician/State Representative I was able to convince legislators that we did not need to include law enforcement earlier in the process—-but rather get the K-Tracs committee to meet more often to intervene earlier in the process of ‘problem prescribers’.
Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?
K-tracs funding was passed in appropriations
What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?
I have learned what a lack of information there is about the opioid crises both nationally and in our state. Many legislators are not well informed about the seriousness of this issue.
If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?
1. I would require that all prescribers of opioids in our state are registered on K-Tracs and must review K-tracs before each opioid prescription. 2. All prescribers demonstrate training and knowledge of the current CDC guidelines on opioid prescribing. 3. All state opioid opioid tracking systems would freely interconnect and communicate.