Database will help prevent prescription drug abuse

Published 4:37 pm Monday, May 31, 2004

By By MATT JORDAN Staff Writer
Governor Bob Riley signed a bill last week to create a statewide database that would significantly hinder people who obtain prescription drugs for illegal purposes from several doctors at once.
It's known as "doctor shopping" and is a rampant problem in our county.
This database can be accessed by physicians inquiring about other substances that have been prescribed to their patient, and pharmacists would be able to know if the drug had been prescribed by more than one doctor. Law enforcement officers that are working on prescription drug abuse cases can access the database, which will save time.
Before the bill, the officers would have to subpena records from every pharmacy. With the new database, what would take a month, now only takes a few minutes.
The normal rate for a pill of Oxy Contin ranges between $40 to $80 on the street. With the new steps taken to make these pills harder to acquire, the outrageous price on the street corner will indefinitely rise.
Currently, 20 states have this prescription drug monitoring program designed to stop abuse.