Biomedical Informatics Director Presents at Annual RX Summit
Lexington, Ky. (April 25, 2019) — This year, to underscore the significant attention from all levels of government to this devastating epidemic, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump addressed attendees at the Annual RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in D.C.
Among the UK delegation was Jeffrey Talbert, PhD, associate director of the CCTS, interim director of CCTS Biomedical Informatics Core, and director of the UK Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy. Talbert was on a panel called “Making the Most of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs): Lessons Learned from Kentucky’s PDMP Enhancements”, along with Patricia Freeman, PhD, from the UK College of Pharmacy and Svetla Slavova, PhD, from the UK College of Public Health.
Talbert presented data on gabapentin prescribing variations among demographic groups and geographical regions in the state. In 2017, Kentucky became the first state to schedule gabapentin as a controlled substance. This was a result of concerns among Kentucky pharmacists for gabapentin misuse and the high percentage of Kentucky drug overdose decedents who tested positive for gabapentin.
"The data on gabapentin utilization captured by the PDMP will help policymakers and Kentucky medical providers understand how patients are using gabapentin along with other controlled substances. The results will help ensure safe utilization of gabapentin," Talbert said.
Other featured speakers during the weeklong event include Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the NIH, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA and Admiral Charles W. Ray, deputy commandant for Operations U.S. Coast Guard.