In order to take control of prescription drug abuse, pharmacies in Minnesota are now required to report data on addictive drugs to the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program. According to a Star Tribune article, by late March of 2010 doctors, dentists and pharmacists will be able to log onto the system to identify patients who may be getting too many habit forming medicines.
Minnesota is just one of 33 other states that are monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances such as amphetamines, barbiturates and other addictive painkillers as well as users of Vicodin, OxyContin and even some diet pills. The state database is funded by a $400,000 federal grant that is expected to track more than a million prescriptions a year. Legislation was passed in 2007 for this monitoring program.
Minnesota has more than 100,000 prescription drug abusers. The purpose of this database is to stop drug abusers and dealers from shopping around for prescription drugs. This won’t prevent drugstore burlaries or prevent kids from taking drugs from their parent’s bathroom or buying drugs off the streets. This will limit the amount of prescriptions that are written by physicians who think it’s a legitimate health care need and then have it end up becoming a street drug.