Public health, privacy rights collide in Pa. drug-tracking bill

Andrew Staub reports:

Legislation moving through the Pennsylvania Senate would allow prosecutors to rifle through prescription drug records as easily as police can search a student’s locker.

The proposal, Senate Bill 1180, would create an expanded prescription drug monitoring program and increase access for pharmacists and health-care practitioners who prescribe medication.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania doesn’t like it.

The biggest issue, the ACLU said, is the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee amended the bill to allow prosecutors to seize the prescription drug records under the standard of reasonable suspicion, the same threshold that must be met to conduct searches in public schools or prisons, where residents have a lower expectation of privacy.

Read more on The Mercury.

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