Politicians block state drug tracking database bill to protect privacy

Despite calls for a drug tracking databases to help curb prescription medication abuse, not everyone is convinced that such databases are the right way to go. For instance, Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf helped to block a bill pushing for the creation of a drug tracking database, calling it an invasion of privacy.

"This bill causes every citizen to be forced against their will to give up their ... personal information about the controlled substances they are prescribed by their doctor," he said, according to the Associated Press. Schaaf, who is also a family physicians, was part of an eight-hour filibuster against the bill.

Family members of prescription drug abuse victims see things differently, however, according to an article published this week in The Buffalo News. Two sets of families from New York whose children died in part due to prescription drug abuse have plans to travel to Washington, D.C. this week to lobby for better tracking and education surrounding narcotic prescription drugs. At the state level, the families are among several pushing for a real-time reporting system for controlled substances.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman proposed a bill earlier this year calling for the state's Department of Health to create such a system.

Last month, the Colorado state pharmacy board denied access to drug prescription databases in the state to everyone other than those providing direct care to patients or dispensing direct prescriptions, despite the argument by state Medicaid officials such access could curb doctor shopping and pharmacy hopping.

To learn more:
- read the Associated Press article
- check out the Missouri bill
- here's The Buffalo News piece

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