As prescription drug abuse and prescription fraud rise to record highs in New Jersey, New York and seemingly everywhere else in the United States, federal officials are proposing that state governments mandate that doctors use a nationwide pill-tracking database before prescribing painkillers. This call to action comes on the heels of a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the total number of overdose deaths from prescription opioid abuse has increased by approximately 400 percent since 1999.
The hope of U.S. health officials is that requiring doctors across the country to log in and check the national pill-tracking database could help law enforcement to crack down on “doctor shopping.” Doctor shopping is a practice employed by drug addicts, as well as drug dealers, to get multiple prescriptions by visiting different physicians and pharmacies.
Fighting Back against Prescription Drug Abuse
Under the Obama Administration, a number of federal agencies are thinking outside the box in order to come up with a solution to the prescription painkiller epidemic facing the country. For example, White House Drug Czar Michael Botticelli recently confirmed the federal government’s involvement in efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and prescription fraud throughout the U.S.
Botticelli specifically said that the painkiller pill monitoring database, once utilized by doctors, would be an extremely effective tool “for reducing prescription drug misuse and diversion.”
Criticisms of a Prescription Drug Database
Not everyone is happy about the proposed solution. For example, some physician groups have said that forcing doctors to take the time to log in to a pain medication database would be “burdensome.” Moreover, they argue, medical treatment is a zero-sum game, which means that doctors who are forced to carve out time to check on a particular patient’s prescription history will end up spending less time caring for other patients.
To learn more, check out the ABCNews.com article, “Federal Officials, Advocates Push Pill-Tracking Databases.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for prescription fraud, simple possession of marijuana, heroin possession or any other drug crime in New Jersey, it is imperative that you talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. have decades of experience fighting on behalf of NJ clients charged with drug offenses. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.