By Rori Black
During the Cho investigation, mention was made of use of anti-depressants but that they could find no record of such medication in the governmentâ€™s files.
Spittake now. Government’s files of… our prescription use?
As as of 2005, The National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act required “the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to States to establish or improve programs to electronically monitor dispensing of controlled substances.” Equally troubling, this was passed by a in the house and senate so that, other than the 25 bipartisan cosponsors, our representatives can not be held accountable for their vote.
The bill requires those dispensing controlled substances to submit patients’ names, addresses and telephone numbersâ€”to state governments within one week of filling prescriptions for “commonly prescribed medications for pain, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder and sleep disorders.” “Data also will be collected on animal owners whose pets are prescribed controlled substances by veterinarians.” The last to track k-holers?
At first blush, this might seem like a good idea, insuring that people (cough Rush cough) would be unable to doctor shop and get dangerous amounts of scheduled drugs.
However, this is an infringement on our right to privacy. Among those allowed to access the database are:
- a practitioner (or the agent thereof) who certifies … that the requested information is for the purpose of providing medical or pharmaceutical treatment or evaluating the need for such treatment
- any local, State, or Federal law enforcement, narcotics control, licensure, disciplinary, or program authority, who certifies … that the requested information is related to an individual investigation or proceeding involving the unlawful diversion or misuse of a schedule II, III, or IV substance
- the controlled substance monitoring program of another State or group of States with whom the State has established an interoperability agreement;
- any agent of the Department of Health and Human Services, a State medicaid program, a State health department, or the Drug Enforcement Administration … for research … related to a function committed to such department, program, or administration by law that is not investigative in nature
- an agent of the State agency or entity of another State that is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of that State’s controlled substance monitoring program
Fifty one state databases that can be perused by local, state and federal agencies if they think you are improperly using scheduled drugs.
Opponents argue that there are problems inherent in the system:
[Potentially] decreases appropriate prescribing of opioids for the treatment of pain. A reduction in appropriate opioid prescribing leads to human suffering, exacerbation of medical conditions, reduced productivity, and diminished quality of life. There is a potential for ePMPs to reduce appropriate prescribing in two ways. First, there is the “chilling” effect of regulatory oversight. Second, there is the possibility that reports of acquisition of opioids from multiple sources will be viewed by practitioners as evidence of “addiction” when in fact it is “pseudoaddiction.”
Others view this as “a way to prop up the ever-failing war on drugs on the backs of doctors”.
This prescription drug monitoring program will simply allow the government to more easily intrude into the doctor/patient relationship and our right to privacy.