Prescription-monitoring bills offered
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 4, 2005
A bill designed to prevent interstate "doctor shopping" for narcotic prescriptions by creating a national network of state prescription-monitoring programs has been introduced in both the U.S. House and the Senate.
The National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act would authorize $95 million through 2011 to establish or improve state programs.
Opponents of prescription monitoring argue that such programs result in inappropriate law-enforcement scrutiny of physician prescribing histories.
Supporters say that wouldn't happen, and co-sponsor, Rep. Charles Norwood, DDS, (R, Ga.) counters that "if we don't move aggressively now to control the nationwide abuse of prescription medications, the end result will be tougher restrictions that hamper the ability of patients to access medications legitimately."
The AMA has not taken a position on this bill, which as of mid-March had not yet been heard in House and Senate committees.
The House of Representatives approved a similar bill last year, but a Senate companion bill was introduced too late to be acted upon.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/04/04/prbf0404.htm.