FEDS SUPPORT NEW Rx MONITORING LAW IN OREGON

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Warning that prescription drug abuseand diversion have developed into a "seriousproblem"for Oregon residents, officialsat the federal Office of National DrugControl Policy urged lawmakers in Salemto enact new legislation creating astatewide prescription drug monitoringprogram.

Similar programs are already in place in33 other states, and the proposed monitoringsystem could help to curb thealarming rise in prescription drug diversionin Oregon, said the agency. Between1999 and 2005, admissions for treatmentof painkiller addiction increased by ~130%in Oregon, while the number of prescriptionsdispensed by the state's pharmaciesfor the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodonehas doubled.

The legislation sought by federal officialswould require the state Board ofPharmacy to establish a database withwhich physicians and pharmacists couldcheck to see if patients are "doctorshopping"and "pharmacy hopping."Toprotect patient confidentiality, the informationcollected from physicians andpharmacists could not be supplied tolaw enforcement agencies without acourt order.