Bill Would Give Police Access To Drug Database
Law enforcement officers would have access to a statewide database of some prescription drugs under a bill filed in the North Carolina legislature. Some lawmakers say it will help address the opioid epidemic. But the move also raises privacy concerns.
The proposal covers prescriptions of controlled pharmaceuticals such as Valium, morphine and codeine.
The News & Observer reports that the database exists to see if a patient is getting controlled substances from multiple doctors. The information is purged every six years, limiting how far back law enforcement would be able to look.
The North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union said such a law would be the first of its kind in the nation to allow law enforcement officers quick access to the system.
Some doctors and privacy groups have raised questions about what that access could mean for patients.
State officials say more than 13,000 North Carolinians have died from opioid-related overdoses since 1999.