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cops in n carolina want list of pain patients

terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
i just read an artice on the drudge report where cops in north carolina want access to records of patients on narcotics. they said it will help control abuse. once again we are at the mercy of the powers to be. pain advocates are upset because it will open up drug records to police and not doctors or pharmacies like are able to now. i don't see this happening but if one state wants to do this then another will want to. once again, today's drudge report on line has the story. if you find it read it. it is an eye opener.
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.


  • i am so happy to be living in the UK ..as if you need any more aggravation .,.by the way how are you doing these days ?
  • like my grandmother used to say i feel like a baby treats a diaper. back is getting worse and i am going to have injections next month. still have to work to keep money and insurance coming in, wife has been out of work for a year. it is depressing. thanks for asking
    here is the report from drudge
    Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

    The state sheriff's association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people's medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

    Allowing sheriffs' offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state's computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.

    Nearly 30 percent of state residents received at least one prescription for a controlled substance, anything from Ambien to OxyContin, in the first six months of this year, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions in that time for more than 375 million doses. The database has about 53.5 million prescriptions in it.

    Sheriffs made their pitch Tuesday to a legislative health care committee looking for ways to confront prescription drug abuse. Local sheriffs said that more people in their counties die of accidental overdoses than from homicides.

    For years, sheriffs have been trying to convince legislators that the state's prescription records should be open to them.

    "We can better go after those who are abusing the system," said Lee County Sheriff Tracy L. Carter.

    Others say opening up patients' medicine cabinets to law enforcement is a terrible idea.

    "I am very concerned about the potential privacy issues for people with pain," said Candy Pitcher of Cary, who volunteers for the nonprofit American Pain Foundation. "I don't feel that I should have to sign away my privacy rights just because I take an opioid under doctor's care." Pitcher is receiving treatment for a broken back.

    The ACLU opposed a bill in 2007 that would have opened the list to law enforcement officials, said ACLU lobbyist Sarah Preston. The organization would likely object to the new proposal.

    "What really did concern us is the privacy aspect," she said. Opening the record to more users could deter someone from getting necessary medicine because of the fear that others would find out, she said, "particularly in small towns where everybody knows everybody."

    The state started collecting the information in 2007 to help doctors identify patients who go from doctor to doctor looking for prescription drugs they may not need, and to keep pharmacists from supplying patients with too many pills. But only about 20 percent of the state's doctors have registered to use the information, and only 10 percent of the pharmacies are registered.

    Many chain pharmacies aren't connected to the Internet, said Andy Ellen, a lobbyist for the N.C. Retail Merchants Association. Pharmacy computers work on closed systems so they won't be vulnerable to viruses that could slow or crash their networks. Pharmacies are trying to figure out a way around that obstacle to the controlled-substance prescriptions list, he said.

    Bettie Blanchard, a woman from Dare County whose adult son is recovering from addiction to prescription drugs, said doctors should be required to consult the list when prescribing controlled substances.

    She also wants doctors to get more education on prescribing narcotics. Doctors should be required to tell patients that the medicine they are being prescribed can be addictive, she said.

    William Bronson, who works in a drug control unit at DHHS, presented what could be a compromise to the sheriffs' request - allowing local drug investigators to request information related to ongoing investigations, but not let them go in to the computer records themselves.

    Eddie Caldwell, lobbyist for the N.C. Sheriff's Association, said the level of access to the data is up for discussion.

    "There's a middle ground where the sheriffs and their personnel working on these drug abuse cases get the information they need in a way that protects the privacy of that information," he said. "No one wants every officer in the state to be able to log on and look it up."

    lynn.bonner@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4821
    Get the biggest news in your email or cellphone as it's happening. Sign up for breaking news alerts.

    Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/08/669723/lists-of-pain-pillpatients-sought.html#ixzz0z9Gj8ud9
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Boo that! Another thing is that if "everyone" in a small town knew someone had powerful painkillers in their home, they may become a target. I can't imagine this could pass as a law.

    During a party we were having, i caught my bosses' wife in my bottle of percocet. Up until then they had no idea I was taking them. Things got messy after that.

  • Jon,

    That very subject was headline news yesterday on TV and I listened to some great arguments why it will never fly and the number one reason is the 4th amendment. They also showed those facts and data are skewed they are using.

    But I don't look for that to pass, if it does headed to the higher courts.
  • Terror,

    After coming from a career in Law Enforcement, I don't see this going very far. That is WAAAAYYYY to much of a reach from Big Brother without probable cause. Like Tamtam said, more than likely, if they try to push this, it will go to a higher court, and it WILL be squashed. My 2 cents. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • remember. there are judges who rule against the vote of the people. we vote on something and then a judge will rule against it as unconstitutional. we had a vote a few years ago against illegal aliens receiving benefits in california and it was voted on by a wide margin of the people who agreed with the law, and it was ruled against by a judge. happens all the time. i guess judges know better than us. just remember the aclu gets involved in things all the time also. they will make things difficult and too expensive to go to court.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Jon,

    I fully agree. It's pretty darn frustrating when that happens as "we the people" then feel our vote was worthless. Now if it's a Constitutional issue, can't argue to much. With the info they are trying to get, I don't see that applying. Hopefully it doesn't go through.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'm with brenda. I have law enforcement in my blood also.
    But the law enforcement community is really pushing it.
    Like we are gonna give them access to all of our medical records.

    Sounds just like these people who want to ban owning firearms.

    No more owning a firearm. OK all you bad guys turn your guns in.
    Like thats gonna happen! =))
  • I don't understand how this could be legal- what about HIPAA? A lot of local law enforcement agencies think they should have access to information that they just don't have a right to. I am fairly certain this would go to appeals court and be found very illegal.
  • It shouldn't matter anyway. We should all have that little label on our little brown bottles with our name on it and with an I. D.there should be no problem. The law can do a chemical test on them
    I can just see it now, the officer goes home tells his wife "hey honey guess who I caught today and with blah blah drugs. Naw, thatcant happen.
  • the only North Carolinian here?? This makes me so irritated!
  • I've said this before... there is already a list in each state, it has to do with Medicaid payments, access is limited and HIPPA is enforced. There is absolutely no reason that any local law enforcement agency should have access to such a list, sorry for those of you out there that were in the force before, but there are plenty of ways to find out about drugs without having a guided list of names of people that ARE following the law.

    Want to cut drug abuse? Jail doctors that write out bogus scripts for $$. All doctors Should be checking the list on file for scripts that their patients are already taking (since everyone isn't so above board on the reporting angle) There are lots of ways to look at this problem, I just don't happen to think that this is a good way of doing so.

    I have a standing joke with the pharmacist where I pick up my called in scripts... it goes something like this- You know... I can go outside the door and get crack in theless time than it takes me to get my claritinD... a legal substance by the way.

    If it's such an issue, maybe law inforcement should focus more attention on it... you know, the ones breaking the laws... not the ones following it.

    Sure, I know the story... they can check the list and see if it's legal, bah blah blah... but they can do that already within the confines of the laws they have in place-after all, if it has been stolen... it won't be in their name, duh. Too simple, possibly... but what use do they really think they'll get out of putting everyone's business out there? and you know that's exactly what will happen.... especially in small towns where everyone thinks they're already entitled to know all your business anyway ;p

    I have no real objection to letting the drug addicts drop... really, I don't. Worse than pretty much any criminal, a druggie is truly a fiend... preying on the old, the sick and those unable to protect themselves. More protection for those that are using legally and less for those under the spell and we'll all be better off.
  • It is not a matter of wether it is right or wrong it is a matter of constitutional law. The ones using it illegal or not the ones that will show up on the reports. I truly don't believe all those illegal drugs on the streets that ppl can by from drug dealers came out of a doctors office. There is a issue in the supply chain that we never hear about. The drug companies have big bucks to sweep it under the rug and blow it off to the doctors.

    Realistically how many people in your own life do you know partaking in criminal activities. I myself don't know any, if i did they would know me to long. Doctors spend all them years getting the education going through brutal training and then the amount on the streets do you really think that comes from the doctors scripts? I sure don't. Even if you took 10% of all the doctors and said they were doing it the numbers don't match the supply on the street. So my point is the doctors and the patients getting this stuff the real way are not the answer to the problem. You need to find the supply of it and cut it off. Going after individual people is walking all over the rights to privacy. That will never fly, it is a matter of law not what people want.
  • You are correct. I was a federal leo, and we didn't need patient lists with their meds - doctors records and pharmacy records. More so when 'alarms' came up - no browsing, and probable cause with a warrant was and still is required. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Tamtam, I wish I could tell you that it was so, but it isn't. There are more than enough "docs" out there willing to put any number of drugs out on the street.... a lot of the protocols we have in place now came out of people copying and stealing script pads, but also from doctors that would write you a script for a price... most of those probably had problems of their own.

    When I was a kid we lived across the street from the methadone clinic... to this day I can't look at a mini carton of oj without gagging. I also have little, no, make that no respect for the common druggie. They are wily, smarter than you can imagine considering they're burning through brain cells at an alarming rate... and there are always more to replace the ones you get rid of.

    Back to protocols- most of the back end of the drug markets are pretty well regulated. Bar scanning, checking, spot checks, "surprise" audits... is there room for stuff to get out there? Of course there is... as long as there is a dollar to bribe with, there will be someone willing to take it and look the other way.... it's just the way it is. Not for you, not for me... but for what seems like an awful lot of people.

    In a perfect world, they'll come up with a device that is implanted with an earing punch... meds will be scanned and added based on your scripts... of course then we'd have to worry that there will be people willing to cut them out of folks to get at the drugs enclosed :(
  • Why would anyone be concerned? I have no doubt that law enforcement would easily be able to tell which people need the medication and which don't. All you need is a list of people who have legally purchased the medication right? They have all the tools to break down the doors, cuff em, and even shoot if they feel like it. If only the list..... Then we'd have all those bad drug users off the streets for sure...
    I have an idea! Why not just move all controlled substances to the police station. They can all act as pharmacists and when we hand over our prescription they can just arrest us on the spot! I'd run for office but it might look bad when I get thrown in jail the first week in office.
    I hope everyone is in as sarcastic a mood as I am tonight. I would like to say that I hope the person that suggested this ends up with chronic pain and in need of these medications but I DON'T! I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

    Best Wishes to all my spiney / pain friends.
  • The problem is that it starts out with only the best intentions... I'm sure someone thought that if they knew who in their town was "allowed" to have the drugss, they could handle those that weren't...

    Unfortunately, by the time a group of people get done with it, the rest of us look at the idea as one from a police state (pardon the pun).

    Knowing what I do from both my upbringing and my job, I can't imagine someone taking something that they don't "need". but thats' me... one of the few left from my neighborhood, in my age group. Not an exageration or a boast... just a sad statement of fact. Drugs, alcohol and poor romantic choices (one guy got thrown out a 2nd story window when his girls' hubby came home... it didn't kill him, but he was a shooter and was gone pretty early anyway ) poor friendship choices over all.... and they're gone.

    Like you, I don't wish the types of pain felt by folks here on anyone... at least, not long term ... maybe a day or so when they come up with an idea that goes so far out there.... :(
    I'm not perfect after all...
  • When you see people arrested on the news, how many times do their friends and loved ones say "Wow, I never would have believed it of him. He seemed like such an upstanding guy." Most people THINK they don't know any lawbreakers, but that doesn't mean they really don't, in terms of the extended circle of acquaintances.

    One of the cases locally of a doctor that was arrested was a man that was active in his church and many people came forward even after his arrest (which included people saying that he was well known as the "go-to" doctor for meds) to say that they were sure someone must have set him up, as a god-fearing man such as him couldn't have done something like that.

    So, indeed, the unlikeliest people get involved in illegal drug trafficking or even drug use themselvesn (I've read several MEDSCAPE articles about drug use in the medical community that are pretty horrifying). Sad but true.

    I'm glad to hear that HIPAA holds, I can't imagine why police would need access to medical records without probable cause.

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