PDMPs and the privacy of patients and doctors


That’s when Lewis turned to the courts, arguing the board had gone fishing for a case against him. In a twist, he asserted that regulators violated not his rights, but those of his patients under the state constitution’s privacy provisions. Lewis’ lawyer, Ben Fenton of Los Angeles, said regulators should get a court order or a signed patient release to look through the databases, just as they must do for a patient’s medical records. After losing at lower court levels, Fenton took the case to the state Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear it this year but not scheduled a date.

Though access by law enforcement officials to prescription databases has been challenged in various states – successfully in Oregon — the California case is believed to be among the first in the country to challenge unrestricted access by medical boards to state prescription drug databases…

The California database, maintained by the state Department of Justice, contains details including physicians’ and patients’ names and is based on weekly reports from pharmacies about prescriptions they have filled for certain high-risk drugs including powerful painkillers. By law, the justice department must provide reports to certain civil and criminal investigators and no court order or warrant is required for access, including for medical board investigators.

Like California, nearly every state now has prescription drug monitoring programs, often known by their acronym PDMP. PDMPs were set up to detect “doctor shopping” by addicts and dealers who seek pain prescriptions from multiple physicians – the purpose that often gets the most attention. But those databases also give licensing boards and law enforcement a way to spot and rein in reckless prescribing by doctors…

As it stands, states tend to put up few barriers to medical licensing boards seeking information as part of their duties. Experts at the PDMP Center for Excellence at Brandeis University outside Boston knew of only one state — Iowa – that requires medical boards get a court order before looking at the databases…

Lewis’ lawyer, Fenton, noted that the original complaint against his client had nothing to do with drug prescriptions, yet the board still ran Lewis through the voluminous database, which contains patient names and medications. According to testimony cited in court papers, an investigator with the medical board said officials routinely check the names of physicians under investigation in the database…

The AMA weighed in in support of Lewis. While the organization supports keeping drug prescription databases…

Unlike medical records, prescriptions of controlled substances “are subject to regular scrutiny by law enforcement and regulatory agencies,” the court wrote when turning down Lewis’ appeal. As a result, the court said, patients have a “diminished expectation of privacy” about their information in the databases…

Under comments:

Anne, on April 28, 2015 at 4:22 pm said:
PDMP…..so open law enforcement don’t need warrants always…..many times they can just “say ”they are doing an investigation. Who can’t see this data? In Alabama, you the patient are expressly prohibited from reviewing YOUR OWN RECORDS even if you contest the accuracy. I have had eleven errors that I know of in my records since early 2011!

painkills2, on April 29, 2015 at 12:11 am said:
I was recently told by a nurse at the hospital that once information is entered into your electronic health record, it cannot be removed — doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.

So if a doctor believes a patient isn’t using her prescriptions (maybe because of an inaccurate drug test result) and is illegally selling them, that doctor will input that information into both your EHR and a PDMP. The doctor doesn’t need to be right — a drug test result is all that’s needed to label you for life.

I assume information cannot be removed from the PDMPs either. Once your records say you are a drug seeker, addict, or criminal, those labels will follow you forever. Every doctor you see will view that information, and my guess is that there will be many doctors who will refuse to treat any patient with those labels, especially pain patients.

Nothing can protect patients from the drug war, including HIPAA.

Our judiciary, in the DEA’s back pocket



The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal, which was made public late Monday, heads off a potentially embarrassing civil trial that was supposed to start early next month at the federal courthouse…

Back in November 2011, A DEA task force was supposed to be watching truck driver Chapa from the ground and the air as he delivered a load of marijuana fresh from the Rio Grande Valley to Houston. The plan was for Chapa to take them to where the load was to be delivered and arrest cartel members there.

But as the truck entered northwest Houston under the watch of approximately two dozen law enforcement officers, several heavily armed Los Zetas cartel-connected soldiers in sport utility vehicles converged on Patty’s truck.

In the ensuing firefight, Patty’s truck was wrecked and riddled with bullet holes, and a plainclothes Houston police officer shot and wounded a plainclothes Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was mistaken for a gangster.

The truck’s driver was killed and four attackers were arrested and charged with capital murder.
Patty’s truck was impounded and later released to him, but was out of service for months. The DEA refused to pay for the damages, as did Patty’s insurance company, which ruled that the truck had been used in a criminal act, and therefore the damages weren’t covered.

Patty had argued that he and his family lived through extreme emotional distress after fears that the cartel would come after them for some perception they had been complicit with police. He also said that losing the truck for nearly 90 days after it had been damaged nearly crippled his business, which only had two trucks at the time.

Fred Shepherd, who worked with Vickery on the case said his client is astonished that he has no recourse. “It is not just that you can’t sue the federal government., but that fed law enforcement agencies under this ruling can use anybody’s property to do anything they want to further their law enforcement mission and not have to go get the permission from the owner of the property to do it.”

Disband The DEA


I wouldn’t have posted this, except it looks like my comment has been censored…

painkills2 a day ago Pending

It made sense to legalize and regulate alcohol, so we did that. It makes sense to do the same for cannabis, so we’re going to do that too. “Hard” drugs like heroin and meth are actually legally available in regulated formulations through Big Pharma, so why discriminate against them?

Drugs are drugs, including caffeine, nicotine, and sugar. An end to the drug war includes legalizing and regulating all drugs, as these are medical issues, not criminal ones. Drug users end up being criminalized, including those who suffer from addiction, and everyone knows that’s not right. Imprisoning those who suffer from mental health issues isn’t right. How can anyone disagree with that?

And giving the FDA more power is not the answer. The FDA brought us drugs like antidepressants and Vioxx. The agency removes drugs like Pallodone from the market, when methadone has the exact same problems:

“high levels of palladone could slow or stop breathing, or cause coma or death; combining the drug with alcohol use could lead to rapid release of hydromorphone, in turn leading to potentially fatally high levels of drugs in the system”


And because methadone is cheap, it’s prescribed to Medicaid patients, some of whom have died of overdoses. And then those deaths are blamed on “opioids,” and now there’s a war against chronic pain patients.

The only answer is: No. More. Drug. War.

It’s Never Too Late For Peace


What’s Happening In Baltimore Didn’t Just Start With Freddie Gray

The gradual attrition of jobs that paid a decent wage rendered Baltimore particularly vulnerable to the drug trade, which has become almost synonymous with the city thanks to media depictions like HBO’s “The Wire.” Starting in the late 1970s, drug kingpins began recruiting children and teenagers — who, if caught, could usually escape the criminal justice system more easily and more cheaply than adults — to aid with the day-to-day business of selling illicit substances. For many young people, the drug trade offered much more lucrative possibilities than the weak local economy.

Compounding all these issues has been the subprime crisis of the past several years. Predatory lenders allegedly targeted black communities in Baltimore, steering people into untenable, high-interest mortgages that would eventually wipe out their wealth and leave the city riddled with foreclosed and vacant homes…

The neighborhood is also plagued by a “rate of lead paint violations almost four times as high as it was citywide,” according to Slate. Lead paint is linked to a host of health problems and is highly correlated with increased levels of violent crime…

Between 2011 and September 2014, the city of Baltimore shelled out $5.7 million to cover police brutality lawsuits, according to a Baltimore Sun investigation…

“Where was the peace when we were getting shot? Where’s the peace when we were getting laid out? Where is the peace when we are in the back of ambulances? Where is the peace then?” Thomas said. “They don’t want to call for peace then. But you know when people really want peace? When the white people have to get out of bed, when cops have to wear riot gear, when the cops start talking about, oh we got broken arms. Then they want peace.”

“Peace?” Thomas went on. “It’s too late for peace.”

(Photo taken today.)

Error message in WordPress

This webpage is not available



The “dns probe finished no internet” error usually appears when you try to access the internet via the Google Chrome browser even though the internet works fine on other internet browsers like Mozilla or Internet explorer for Windows 8. This will prevent you from accessing any kind of web pages until you fix it. So you will only need to follow the tutorial posted below for a quick fix on this error and prevent it from appearing again…

There are 38 steps to this fix… seriously.  And although I keep getting this error message, it usually happens if my computer is busy downloading another web page, and it resolves if I close out of the other web page and reload WordPress.  You’d think that since I have a Core i5, which is supposed to let me do more than one thing at a time, I wouldn’t have these kinds of problems. I think this is partly due to my Verizon internet service, which especially at certain times of the day, is extremely slow.


Putin Mar 6, 2015 12:40AM
go to START and Run and type in the following commands:
cmd (enter)

c:\netsh winsock reset (enter)

remember restart your computer

Bernie Sanders To Launch Presidential Campaign



Senator Sanders might be the champion marijuana advocates have been looking for; he is not opposed to legalizing recreational use and supports medical use. “I have real concerns about implications of the war on drugs. We have been engaged in [it] for decades now with a huge cost and the destruction of a whole lot of lives of people who were never involved in any violent activities,” he told Time Magazine.

Warren is less liberal than you may think when it comes to pot. Although she loves a light beer on occasion (“One beer and I’m like, ‘Woah, I’m ready to par-tay,” she reportedly said), she was opposed to legalizing marijuana two years ago.


At a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston this past weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) took a jab at pro-legalization Republican State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who is currently vying for the Republican nomination for Senate in Massachusetts’s upcoming special election.  Addressing the crowd, Senator Warren said, “I advise everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He wants us armed and stoned.” …

I’m in constant pain and I need cannabis.  And I need it to be affordable, which means legalization. It looks like Bernie Sanders is my candidate for 2016.  (As if I would ever vote for Hillary Clinton.)