A bill that would create a statewide prescription drug online database passed the House and is now onto the Senate.
Lawmakers say if it’s passed, it would cut down on doctor shoppers and prescription drug availability on the streets.
They say House bill 1694 is a game changer, one that Pennsylvania has needed for decades.
But now that it’s moved onto the Senate the debate isn’t about whether this bill should pass but more so on the involvement of police.
They’re nicknamed “doctor shoppers”.
“There are people who are prescribed strong medication. They get addicted, they go to doctor by doctor by doctor asking for the same medication and are just abusing the system,” says State Representative Patty Kim, (D) 103rd District.
And Pennsylvania lawmakers want to put an end to it.
They want to establish an electronic database that would keep track of each doctor you ask for medication and who prescribes for you.
“There is essentially an electronic paper trail,” says State Representative, Stephen Bloom, (R) 199th District.
House bill 1694 has bipartisan support but now the debate hinges on privacy.
An amendment proposed by Representative Dan Miller requires investigators to have a search warrant to access prescription records.
“My point is that a police officer today cannot walk up to your house, open up your medicine cabinet and say hey just give me a minute I just want to take a look,” says State Representative Dan Miller, (R) 42nd District.
Miller says the amendment protects patients who aren’t abusing the system.
“I was not going to vote for the bill unless we made sure the privacy rights were protected,” says Bloom.
Bloom says the law would cut down on drugs that illegally make it to the street as well as put more pressure on those who prescribe.
“It’ll definitely I think make the entire medical community whether its doctors, pharmacists, anyone else, think twice before prescribing these controlled substances,” says Bloom.
The bill moved on to the Senate but some lawmakers are hoping the amendment proposed by Representative Miller is tweaked if it reaches the Governor’s desk.