Vermont's Planned Rx Database Raises Fresh Privacy Concerns

DECEMBER 01, 2005
Ken Rankin

Privacy advocates in Vermont are fretting over a controversial plan to create a massive electronic database to track prescription drug use among the state's residents. Legislation expected to be introduced in the state senate early in 2006 would enable Vermont law enforcement officials to electronically track prescription holders who may be using drugs illegally. It may also make it easier to identify pharmacists or doctors engaged in inappropriate dispensing or prescribing activities.

In addition to officials at the Vermont Department of Public Health, physicians and pharmacists would have access to the proposed new Rx database, supporters of the bill said.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.