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Rx monitoring programs expand

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 18, 2010

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At the start of 2010, Minnesota became the latest state to help fight prescription drug abuse with the help of a prescription drug monitoring database.

Minnesota is the 34th state to launch a statewide database in which pharmacists report all controlled substance prescriptions they fill. The database can be used by physicians and other prescribers to help identify so-called "doctor shoppers" who obtain multiple prescriptions from several sources. Minnesota launched its program with the help of a $400,000 federal grant.

Minnesota was among five states that passed laws authorizing such a program but had yet to get one up and running. The other four are either awaiting funding, infrastructure or, as in the case of Florida, a signature from the governor.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, the newly appointed federal drug czar, has said he would like to see a drug monitoring program in place in all 50 states.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/01/18/bibf0118.htm.

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