Posted at: 01/21/2013 9:50 AM
Updated at: 01/21/2013 12:30 PM
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin has yet to set up a database to collect information on prescription drugs, although pharmacies and other dispensers were required to start gathering information Jan. 1.
A law passed in 2009 required Wisconsin's 1,200 businesses that dispense frequently abused prescription drugs to collect details on who receives them. Details on who gets OxyContin, Vicodin, fentanyl and other controlled substances will be used to better track abusers and curb drug abuse.
At least 44 states have such programs, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. Of the other six states, only Missouri hasn't passed a law to create one.
Greg Gasper, executive assistant with the Department of Safety and Professional Services, said the state selected Alabama-based Health Information Designs as the vendor in September but has been negotiating the contact.
He couldn't comment Monday on the negotiations but expected the contract to be finalized very soon.
"It's going to stem the tide of doctor shopping or pharmacist shopping," Tom Engels, spokesman for the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, told the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/VfPHIQ ).
Pharmacies already collect the data, so they'll mostly just need to learn how to submit it to the database, Engels said.
"We think it should be a seamless process for pharmacies," he said.
In Wisconsin, law enforcement agencies will be able to access the database with a court order. Several law enforcement groups sought more routine access.
Information required for the controlled substances database includes the name, gender and birth date of the person receiving the drug, plus the number of days of supply and number of refills authorized, among other details.
Veterinarians tried unsuccessfully to get an exemption, saying reporting would be costly because most don't have electronic records. Few people try to abuse drugs through veterinary clinics, they said.
Kim Brown Pokorny, executive director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, said a bill this year will again seek an exemption.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj
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