Arizona Law Creates Database for Tracking Prescription Drug Use

Law aims to curb prescription drug abuse.

by / July 6, 2007

A new law, signed by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano this week, will allow the state to better track a technique used by some prescription drug addicts -- the practice of obtaining prescriptions from different doctors, then filling the prescriptions at different pharmacies.

House Bill 2136 will create the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP), a secure electronic database that gathers all of the information together, showing when patients are seeking more than one doctor for multiple prescriptions for the same drug.

Under current tracking methods, abusers will visit a variety of doctors seeking prescriptions for their drug of choice. By filling these prescriptions at different pharmacies, they are able to avoid notice by the Arizona Pharmacy Board.

"This law provides a powerful new tool for reducing prescription drug abuse and providing intervention opportunities," said Napolitano. "With this law in place the Pharmacy Board can better oversee the usage of prescription drugs and ensure that they are not being abused."

The new monitoring program will allow the Arizona Pharmacy Board to work with law enforcement to identify illegal activity. A task force will oversee the program. Nationwide, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) are currently up and running in 24 states. Arizona joins nine other states that have added new PDMPs.