Wednesday, February 08, 2006

White House wants states to track drugs

Web India 123

Denver (UPI) -White House drug czar John Walters wants more states to track people who get multiple prescriptions of frequently abused drugs, a report said Wednesday.

The national anti-drug strategy Walters announced would prod 20 states and the District of Columbia to set up databases to track drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin, USA Today reported.

President George Bush's proposed fiscal 2007 budget includes $9.9 million to help establish state drug registries, already adopted in 28 states.

States likely to consider registries include Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont and Washington, said an aide to Walters.

Critics expressed concern about patients' privacy and medical care interference.

We're sympathetic to registries if they are used for public-health purposes, but we're really concerned that they'll be used as a law enforcement tool, Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance told the newspaper. We don't want doctors afraid to prescribe pain medication.


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