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Prescription pill legislation would create electronic database in PA

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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.

3 comments

  • anthonymwilliams

    Believe it or not there are people in this county that have issue and are legit in relying on pain medication. It depresses me so much at times to be one of those. To be grouped directly in with people that abuse or use without a prescription makes me feel like I have to defend myself. I don't want everyone and their brother knowing my issues and what medications I need to just cope with pain. Yes the medication helps but it does not totally eliminate it. So now I'm lumped in with criminals. Thank you my state government, politicians and "representatives". I don't want to be "represented" like this. May I have some sense of privacy.

  • The Opinionated One

    HIPPA law would prevent release of this information to authorities, or anyone else for that matter. The purpose of HIPPA is to protect privacy of patients. The drug online database sounds like a direct violation of HIPPA law. Is doctor shopping really such a big issue in PA? I never heard about it until I heard this report. Another case of "Big Brother" interfering in citizens' everyday life.

  • Tracey

    The government has no business in anyone's medicine cabinet. They can't even balance a budget & now they want to be Doctors? How do they decide what meds are necessary for a patient? People with chronic pain due to cancer, arthritis, etc. all have different pain thresholds & not all drugs work for every person the same way. It took 10+yrs.& numerous "cheap" drug combinations til my insurance co. was forced to pay for a more expensive seizure medicine for me because it was the only one that kept them under control. Now the state/government also wants to have a say in what drugs should be prescribed.
    This issue could be handled by the physicians themselves without federal or state involvement. The Dr.s are the ones who decide which medicines they feel is a necessity to each patient. I can understand red flagging people who change Doctors on a regular basis, but not having the power to look into everyone persons medical records.
    Most Dr.s shouldn't be handing out the type of meds that are the focus of this bill until the person been a patient for at least 6 months to a yr. & monitored closely.
    The government has bigger issues they need to be focusing on so I suggest they get to work.

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