MA leaders seek crackdown on medication abuse

State health authorities are proposing a major campaign to catch patients who are doctor-shopping in search of multiple prescription painkiller and stimulant scrips. Authorities say that prescription drug abuse fostered by doctor shopping is a public health threat rivaling that of heroin and other powerful street drugs. According to state records, the number of people found to have been doctor shopping for such drugs between 1996 and 2007 shot up 170 percent, hitting 2,900 last year. Under the new system, which would need approval from the state's Public Health Council, anyone hoping to fill a prescription for Schedule II drugs would need to show identification to a pharmacist, who would then in turn enter their identifying information into a state database.

If the measure is approved, Massachusetts would become one of several states instituting measures to cut down on prescription drug abuse via doctor shopping, including Tennessee, which has made doctor shopping a felony.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this article from The Boston Globe

Related Articles:
TN makes doctor shopping a felony. Report
Tennessee educates MDs on drug-fraud law. Report
WI database tracks painkiller prescriptions. Report

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