Don’t dismantle drug-monitoring program

 

Florida legislators and the ACLU are calling for the dismantling of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program alleging that it contributed to the leak of thousands of confidential patient records.

But as the July 7 article Debate grows over database correctly pointed out, the fault of the leak lies with the inappropriate use of the data obtained by a defense attorney.

Would lawmakers call for the dismantling of the electronic banking system because bank employees have access to financial data? Let’s not forget that the program is already on life support receiving only $500,000 annually, which renders it ineffectual to meet all of its critical demands. As a board certified addiction professional, I can attest that this database provides for accountability and transparency in the prescribing process for controlled substances.

Instead of dismantling the system we should expand the program, fund an awareness campaign to educate physicians on how to use the program and increase security measures to ascertain patient privacy.

Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD, North Miami Beach

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