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News of the Day ... in Perspective


Gov. Bush lobbies for drug-tracking data base

A massive state electronic data base of all prescriptions for controlled substances in Florida, which AAPS opposed in January, is in trouble in the legislature.

If the bill fails, the state will “lose” $2 million pledged by Purdue Pharma as start-up costs, in exchange for the Attorney General’s dropping an investigation into the company’s marketing practices for OxyContin. Where the state will find the $2.8 million needed annually to maintain the data base is an unanswered question.

Gov. Bush says that the bill will help stem abuse of prescription drugs. Opponents say the system would be extraordinarily expensive and too slow to be effective, while posing serious civil liberties threats (Mark Hollis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 10, 2004.)

Advocates for pain patients say the prescription registry will make it still more difficult for pain patients to obtain the relief that they need because of physicians’ unwillingness to endure the additional burden.

Additional information:

The Accidental Addict: Clearing away the myths surrounding the OxyContin “epidemic” by Maia Szalavitz, March 25, 2004.

Patients, MDs fight pain pill tracking plan. Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 17, 2004.

Florida’s hearings on pain drugs denounced.

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