Some Doctors Object to Prescription Drug Monitoring Databases

As a growing number of states implement prescription drug monitoring databases to curb “doctor shopping” for painkillers, some physicians say they object to aspects of the programs.

The databases are designed to alert prescribers that a patient may be abusing drugs, or diverting them for illegal sale, according to Reuters. Currently, 43 states have the databases, and another five states have passed laws to create them.

Pharmacists enter prescriptions for controlled substances, so doctors can see if a patient is attempting to obtain drugs from more than one location.

Sherry Green, CEO of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, told Reuters that some doctors are concerned that the database programs could breach patient confidentiality, and interfere with needed pain treatment. They also worry that the databases could be used against doctors who need to prescribe high amounts of painkillers.

Some doctors object to being required to consult the database every time they prescribe potentially addictive medication, and say it should be left to their discretion, according to Green. They also say using the database is time-consuming. States are trying to increase the speed of the database so that doctors can access information while patients are still in the office. Some states allow doctors to authorize another staff member to use the database on their behalf.

The article notes some doctors see laws requiring mandatory use of the databases as putting law enforcement above health care. The Kentucky Medical Association was able to fight a provision that would have moved the state’s database to the Attorney General’s office.

Many prescription monitoring databases allow doctors and pharmacists to access information from neighboring states, which helps cut down on people driving across state lines to find more prescriptions.[polldaddy poll=6276008]

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    October 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    It looks like the overall vote on this is that most doctors and patients do not like the idea of the government being involved in their private and supposedly confidential medical records. Doctors I have interviewed say it is just a way for the government to charge them more money for special license and more added fees. The government in this country is corrupt enough with out sticking there noses in a field they have no education or experience in. You don’t see doctors practicing law, and the legal system needs to keep its nose out of the medical profession. Many of the cases where doctors have been charged with overprescribing is usually from the lack of time they spend defending themselves and allowing a lawyer to make a settlement and they go on doing their jobs. Many cases are where the patient overtook the medication, not as prescribed by the doctor, and many cases the patient obtained extra or added drugs from illegal sources. The doctor did not tell the patient to obtain illegal drugs, or over-use the prescription they gave them. The legal system just lays it off on a doctor with insurance, and is not doing their jobs to protect the doctors, they just make a quick and easy settlement. Drug addicts will and do continue to do what they do. As for the passing of these new laws and their effects on illegal drug use, it has continued to go up and up and up. Obviously these laws are doing nothing to help, they only hinder law abiding citizens and cause honest patients to have to deal with needless suffering. The street drugs have gotten worse and the rates of overuse and deaths have gone up, these laws do nothing but allow politicians to suck more money out of doctors and hurt patients. The illegal drug use continues to go up, because I guess politicians don’t understand that criminals don’t obey the laws, only law abiding citizens follow the laws. Strange they don’t get that. If criminals followed the laws there would be less criminals, just another example of how ignorant our politicians and legal system is. They just keep getting richer and enforcing more control, and the law abiding doctors and patients continue to have to pay.
    These laws are wrong, interfere with confidential medical practices and have no place in our society. Big brother needs to find some new area to suck money off, maybe from themselves, if they spent half the time policing themselves instead of others, we would all be better off.

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    June 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    First of all! This is should be a violation of Hippa law. It’s not the doctor’s job to be a police officer to a patient who is over 18. My guess is that there will be loop holes, how about the government focus their pea brains into something like granting services to kids with Autism in their homes, instead if making parents drain their savings to pay for therapy?!! Ya think?? Or how about giving health care to people who can’t afford health insurance YET STILL DON”T QUALIFY for MEDICAID, because 25,000 a year is considered to much money for a family of 3!! Come on people wake up law makers have their heads uo their asses! Pisses me off really!

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    June 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    A data base works well-The physician and pharmacists enters the controlled substance that is prescribed. When the patient either goes to a physician or pharmacy his prescription record is readily available. Doctors and Pharmacists can easily ascertain if a patient/customer is “doctor shopping”. One of these indivuals contacts law enforcement. It is a felony to recieve like controlled substances from a physician within a thirty day period without each of the other physicians knowledge. As a law enforcement officer I have no need for medical records to present a case to the states attorney. A statement from the physician that he/she was unaware that his patient was seeking controlled substances from numerous other physicians is all that is necessary. If medical records are ever needed the law enforcement officer applies for a Subpoena. Every physician should be excited to participate in the data base as they may be saving a prescription addicts life.I have been thanked by many indivuals after there arrest as they were unable to stop the drug addiction on there own.

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