1/8/2015, Oregon docs to feds: Hands off our prescription drug info
Eight other state medical associations and the American Medical Association signed on to support the OMA in the brief it filed last month. The suit is pending before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The State Attorney General’s office filed the original suit in U.S. District Court in Portland in the fall of 2012.
“We remain concerned about the potential for re-purposing the database away from a public health tool toward a law enforcement resource for federal agencies,” said Ken Cole, the OMA’s director of marketing and communications.
Doctors should also be worried about the loss of trust in the patient/physician relationship. Loss of trust and lack of need for doctors who’s strings are pulled by the DEA and insurance companies (instead of medical science).
He said when the database was set up, Oregon lawmakers built safeguards to require law enforcement agencies to demonstrate probable cause before receiving limited access.
Since DEA subpoenas do not need to be based on probable cause, Oregon sued to determine whether the state needed to comply.
Oregon built safeguards against everyone except the DEA? (Like you can build safeguards against the DEA, NSA, FBI, CIA…) That doesn’t make much sense. But since law enforcement’s definition of “probable cause” can be determined by “suspicious behavior,” “probable cause” ceases to have any meaning.
Do you think patients will feel better or more secure if the DEA has to prove probable cause first? Face it, the PDMPs are mainly for the DEA and law enforcement — that’s what they were set up for, regardless of any other uses for the information.
How do PDMPs help patients? Do pain patients receive any benefit from being monitored and criminalized? Or does it put the process of seeking medical care out of the reach of millions and millions of people in pain?
“If the DEA walked into my house and rifled through my medicine cabinet, that clearly would be a violation of the Constitution,” Wessler said. “The rules shouldn’t be be any different because the records are sitting in a secure state database.”
“Secure state database” — that’s funny. Who are they trying to fool?
The state established the monitoring program in 2009 as an electronic database of prescriptions filled by Oregon pharmacies. It was intended to promote public health and patient care by giving providers a way to identify and address problems related to side effects, risks associated with the combined effects of prescriptions and overdose. Pharmacies submit prescription data to the system for all Schedule II, III and IV drugs (including opioids) they dispense. About 7 million prescription[s] have been reported each year since 2011, when it became operational.
So, how is that PDMP working for Oregon? Is it doing what it was set up to do? Stay tuned…