South Carolina Plans To Launch Rx Drug Tracking Database
By the beginning of next year, South Carolina health officials plan to launch a new computer system to track certain prescription drugs, the AP/Charleston Post and Courier reports.
The system will track the prescribing physicians and dosage of painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants, as well as the name, date of birth and address of the patient. The computer system is designed to let physicians and pharmacists track what medications patients are taking and determine if patients are refilling prescriptions. The system also will help law enforcement officials identify physicians who are overprescribing medication and patients who are abusing prescription drugs.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has raised concerns about the amount of information that will be stored in the database, the AP/Post and Courier reports.
In a June 2006 letter to the state Legislature, Sanford wrote, "Centralizing those records electronically in one government agency creates too large a risk of unauthorized access to the deeply personal medication information of thousands of law-abiding South Carolina citizens."
Sanford vetoed the bill authorizing the program, but lawmakers voted to override it. The computer system will have several security measures, including the ability to audit users and track what data are accessed (AP/Charleston Post and Courier, 10/15).
Source : iHealthBeat