Texas Launches Online Tool to Fight Drug Abuse

The State of Texas has added a new weapon to its arsenal in the war against prescription drug abuse and doctor shopping. The Texas Department of Public Safety has responded to the growing prescription drug problem by launching an online tool to identify drug abusers and dealers by tracking prescription painkillers like OxyContin and other controlled drugs. The new tool is an online database called Prescription Access in Texas. Prior to the introduction of the new database, pharmacists sent prescription data to a paper-based system. Getting information out of the old system could take several days or longer. Now more than 100,000 health care professionals and law enforcement officials will be able to find out immediately which medications a Texas patient has received in the past year. In addition to revealing which patients are abusing or dealing drugs, the Prescription Access system can be used to identify doctors who are overprescribing narcotic drugs. The Center for Disease Controls and Prevention has reported that prescription drug overdoses from opioid painkillers…

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