KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Doctors Want Pain Drugs To Be Tracked

The Hill: Doctors who belong to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians want lawmakers to give money to help states begin collecting and sharing data on patients who "doctor shop" for pain medications. The group wants $55 million for the program and are asking Congress "to reauthorize a 2005 bill providing grants to states that collect prescription drug information and share it with physicians and pharmacists - and law enforcement officials when there's an investigation - while protecting patients' privacy. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), an original sponsor of the bill, is expected to introduce legislation shortly." Forty-one states have drug monitoring programs, but many don't meet a federal standard for collecting or maintaining that data on patients. Only Kentucky and Connecticut attempt "to share information among states, which ASIPP says is necessary to prevent drugs abusers from stocking up on pills in states such as Florida that have laxer standards" (Pecquet, 6/28). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.