" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

AUGUST 12, 2005 - With the flourish of a pen, President Bush improved patient care -- promoting quality pain relief with accountability -- and made history for the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), when he signed NASPER prescription drug abuse legislation into law Thursday night, August 11. ASIPP is a national organization of approximately 4,000 members headquartered in Paducah, Ky., has been working for the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Act since 1999.

(Photo: President George W. Bush and ASIPP CEO, Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD)

Related Links

(ASIPP receives Presidential Pen)

Press coverage

Text of the bill

NASPER Committee House Report

NASPER Committee Senate Report

State eligibility for federal funding

Bill sponsors


(How to get NASPER in your state -- includes sample letter

and model legislation from 3 states)

Photo Gallery

U.S. Rep. Ed. Whitfield (R-KY) presents ASIPP CEO Laxmaiah Manchikanti, M.D., with signed NASPER bill. (read the full story)


U.S. Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY)

Manchikanti and Whitfield

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Manchikanti

U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown (R-OH) and ASIPP leaders

U.S. Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY) and U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) at ASIPP meeting

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) with ASIPP leaders

U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman  (R-MN) with ASIPP leaders

May 25, 2005 -- Manchikanti celebrates Senate HELP committee approval with Chairman Enzi.

Senator Tim Hutchinson


NASPER Was Signed Into Law In Minnesota.
St. Paul, Minnesota - The Governor signed the Health and Human Services (HHS) NASPER bill on Saturday, May 26, 2007. He line-item vetoed a few Minnesota Care provisions but left most of the bill intact, including the NASPER language. Initially, MMA and the Board of Medical Practice lobbied against NASPER but we were able to work through their concerns. Our House author, Representative Jim Abeler, is known to be a compromiser and took all concerns into account before drafting the House version. Senator Linda Berglin was a wonderful champion for NASPER and is delighted the legislation passed.



U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Anne Northup (R-KY) present ASIPP CEO Laxmaiah Manchikanti, M.D., with the pen used by President Bush to sign the NASPER law. (More photos)


Paducah, Kentucky - Through three sessions of Congress, ASIPP made NASPER its legislative priority, making more than 1200 legislative visits, writing thousands of letters to legislators and visiting the White House and other governmental agencies nearly a dozen times.

The measure is intended to improve patient access and prevent "doctor shopping” and drug diversion — a practice in which patients receive prescriptions, such as painkillers, from multiple doctors to treat the same illness.

According to Congressional sources, NASPER becomes the first law originated by a physicians’ organization. “This is really a historic achievement for a relatively small organization,” said ASIPP founder and CEO Laxmaiah Manchikanti, M.D., who testified before Congress and promoted the bill through three sessions

Effect on patients, health care provider

While he is pleased with the organization’s success, Manchikanti said he is most gratified by the outcome for patients and their health care providers. “This will not only relieve physicians from the fear of giving controlled substances to the wrong patients for the wrong reasons, but also it will improve patient access with the patient obtaining the proper medication.”

The national program will allow physicians and pharmacists to access patient records, showing what controlled substances are already prescribed. That will help doctors avoid duplication of prescriptions and the possibility of prescribing one medication that could be harmful when mixed with another, Manchikanti said.

The bill authorizes spending $60 million from fiscal year 2006 to 2010 to create a federal grant program housed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help establish or improve state-run prescription drug monitoring programs. Twenty states, including Kentucky , have such programs. Creation of a national program will require states to share information, a critical component of its success in border areas where patients may live in one state and seek medical care in another.

Key Players

All the supporters celebrated the victory, claiming it will improve patient safety and access.

“ The national epidemic of prescription drug abuse wreaks devastating social and economic consequences,” Manchikanti said. “While controlled substance abuse for non-medical purposes is well-recognized, its abuse in chronic pain patients may not be so widely known. However, billions of federal and state dollars are spent to purchase these drugs for chronic pain patients and to manage consequences of their prescription drug abuse. NASPER ensures accessible sources of prescription verification, an important first step in solving this problem.”

U.S. Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY), who introduced the bill in all three sessions of Congress, said the law will help health care professionals and law enforcement detect, prevent and treat prescription drug abuse. “Addicts and dealers no longer will be able to thwart state programs by simply crossing into another state,” he said.

“With prescription drug abuse skyrocketing, a national approach is desperately needed to turn the tide against this devastating addiction.”

NASPER is the third piece of legislation introduced by Whitfifeld to be signed into law.

Former Senator Tim Hutchinson, ASIPP’s government affairs counsel, spent more than 2000 hours on the bill, along with Congressional leaders, specifically the principal sponsors -- Whitfield , U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) -- and their distinguished staff, John Halliwell, Kathy Kulkarni and Megan Clarke.

NASPER history

The idea originated with the success of a similar program, KASPER, in Kentucky. Following preliminary discussions with congressmen Whitfield and Pallone, the initial bill was written by Arthur Didio and William Sarraille from the legal firm, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn. After some changes by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Whitfield and Pallone introduced it in the House during the 107th Congress in 2002. Then-Sen. Hutchinson (R-AR) introduced it in the Senate. Due to opposition from U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), the bill failed to move.

The bill was reintroduced in the 108th Congress with refinements. Despite support from approximately 60 co-sponsors in the House, opponents did not like the proposed national program. Consequently, after hearings in the Energy and Commerce Committee, Whitfield, with ASIPP’s support, fostered a combined bill with U.S. Rep. Charles Norwood (R-GA), utilizing a state approach. Hearings were held March 4, 2004, at which Manchikanti, Rep. Rogers and Dr. James Holsinger, secretary of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, testified. The bill then passed in the House, with one physician congressman opposing the bill. Meanwhile, the Senate’s Health Committee held hearings, at which ASIPP board member Kenneth Varley, M.D, from Alabama , testified. However, time ran out before the bill could pass the 108th Congress.

When the 109th session began in January 2005, NASPER was re-introduced in the Senate with eight co-sponsors and in the House with 35 co-sponsors. It unanimously passed the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 25, 2005, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 20, 2005. The full House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill on July 27, 2005; and the Senate followed with unanimous approval on July 29, 2005.

The final bill received support from the American Medical Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.


(How to get NASPER in your state -- includes sample letter)


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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
81 Lakeview Drive, Paducah, KY 42001
Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
E-mail asipp@asipp.org