NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Did you know pharmacists have been sending the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) information on your prescriptions since 1982?
It’s called the Texas Prescription Program and this summer the gathered information will be going online.
Lisa Graybill, the Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas, is concerned about who will be able to see the information.
“My understanding is that doctors are to have access to it, but the questions I think are –- will that access be monitored [and] what kind of password protection will there be?” she questioned.
When the Texas Prescription Program was launched it focused on documenting prescriptions for heavy drugs like morphine, cocaine as a topical anesthetic and oxycodone.
Graybill is also worried about how law enforcement officials will use information in the database.
“Do they have to get a warrant? What are the safeguards for that? What are the safeguards to ensure that law enforcement isn’t just simply trolling the database that they’re acting on reasonable suspicion or probable cause that someone is in fact ‘doctor shopping’.”
In 2008, the drugs included in the list were expanded to include anabolic steroids, cough suppressants containing codeine and other pain medications like Lyrica.
Pharmacists are required to supply DPS with information on the prescriptions and the information is then entered into the subscriber only database.
State officials say only law enforcement officials, along with general practitioners, veterinarians, podiatrists, dentists and nurses will have access to the website.
According to DPS, the purpose of the list is to try and track “doctor shopping”, the practice of getting multiple prescriptions from more than one physician, which is now a felony.
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