Prescription drug database battle rages

Bob Barr comments on legislation proposed in Georgia:

Federal and state drug agencies want Georgia to create a database of doctors who prescribe pain medications, pharmacists who fill prescriptions for pain medications, and patients who receive prescription pain medications.  And law enforcement agencies are employing a full-court press in the General Assembly to get what they want.  Whether they succeed against a coalition of state senators and representatives concerned about such a privacy-invasive database, remains very much up in the air as the General Assembly enters the home stretch of its 40-day session.  Hanging in the balance is the question of whether law enforcement and regulatory agencies across the state and across the nation will have ready access to Georgia citizens’ private medication records — to be analyzed, cataloged and manipulated in ways they will never know.

[…]Leaving aside for the moment the fundamental principle that what a doctor prescribes for a patient should be the concern of the doctor and his patient, and not law enforcement or government regulators, the bill pending before the Georgia General Assembly (currently, SB 418) to create a mandatory electronic database to monitor prescription drugs, sweeps far too broadly and raises serious privacy and other constitutional concerns.

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