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Washington state doctors get access to Rx tracking

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 16, 2012

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Physicians and other prescribers in Washington now can keep tabs on their patients' controlled-substance prescriptions using the state's new drug-monitoring database.

In December 2011, pharmacists started entering patient prescription information into the system, which could help physicians and pharmacies prevent medication mix-ups and drug abuse. The system already includes 3.1 million records for prescribed drugs in Schedules II through V, said the Washington State Dept. of Health.

To request and review patients' prescription information, physicians must register at the prescription-monitoring program website (link). The data also are available to several state government agencies, including health professional licensing boards, the health department said. Washington joins 36 other states with operational prescription-monitoring programs.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/01/16/prbf0116.htm.

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