IL: Drug database raises privacy concerns

Sharon Woods Harris reports:

Tazewell County Coroner Dennis Conover said an amendment to the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program would make investigations into questionable deaths much easier, but a national privacy advocacy group has some concerns.

House Bill 3695 would amend the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program — a database of prescriptions that doctors and pharmacists use to determine if patients are getting prescriptions for regulated drugs from multiple sources. The database is mandated by federal law through the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration.


A prescription-monitoring program is required in all states by federal law, but the intent of the law is to allow doctors and pharmacies to know if prescription medications are being abused, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearing House based in California.

“There is a huge privacy issue here,” he said of the Illinois amendment. “Certainly no one wants their prescription information given to law enforcement.

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Thanks to Rob Douglas for sending this link.

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