In an effort to combat rising levels of prescription drug abuse, the Pennsylvania legislature is considering a new bill that would require doctors to check prescription drug histories before giving out new prescriptions to patients. According to the Pennsylvania Independent, the law would essentially expand the state's prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), a database that tracks prescriptions for individual patients.
Currently, Pennsylvania's PDMP can only be viewed by law enforcement agencies, and the only drugs that are monitored are schedule II drugs, including OxyContin and oxycodone. The bill being considered would make it a requirement for doctors and pharmacies to check the database before writing prescriptions, and it would also include data on schedule III-V drugs.
While some are saying the law would help prevent those who take advantage of the law from stocking up on prescription pills in order to sell them, other stakeholders are concerned that the law could lead to invasions of privacy for people who are using the prescriptions for legitimate purposes.
"One would reasonably believe that Pennsylvanians have a heightened expectation of privacy in their medication records," Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. "This Senate committee [that approved the legislation] clearly thinks otherwise."
It's important to remember that legislation aimed at curbing drug abuse isn't going to solve the problem of addiction for those who are already dealing with this illness. If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug dependence and you're searching for treatment centers in Florida, we strongly recommend contacting Fairwinds Treatment Center today. Our dual diagnosis approach, developed by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, treats not just the illness but the underlying causes of the dependence. Give us a call today for more information about this program.