South Carolina’s Department of Health & Environment Control issued a new mandate today requiring pharmacies to submit their narcotic prescription records on a daily basis. The current requirement is to upload this information into the government run database once a month. A narcotic is a scheduled drug with hydrocodone, codeine, Ambien, or Lyrica in it. Even a simple prescription from your dentist for 12 Tylenol #3 tablets goes into the government database (along with your personal information)
The intention is to help law enforcement catch what we call “doctor shoppers”. A “doctor shopper” is a patient that goes to more than one doctor for narcotic prescriptions, then goes to more than one pharmacy. These extra pills are either sold on the street or abused at home. Often times these prescriptions are payed for by insurance supplemented by the taxpayer.
So you ask me “what’s your problem?” Well, I have a serious problem with those that abuse narcotics, especially when joe taxpayer is footing the bill. However, there’s a problematic trend I’ve seen. Government has a bad habit of punishing the whole public while catching the few out there abusing the system. This monitoring is invading the privacy of 100% of the population in the name of “assisting law enforcement”.
Nanny Government has a database of every cold sufferer that has to buy pseudo-ephedrine just to make sure that you’re not cooking meth.
A few years ago this mandate was tucked in legislation dealing with nursing. Then Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed the bill and I supported the veto. His veto message underscored the privacy intrusion on all South Carolinians for the purposes of catching the few abusers. I regret not catching this provision and mounting a stronger opposition to it.
As you know, South Carolina has a bad history with its citizens’ databases. Here’s one more database for hackers and a good victory for nanny state!
Below is the letter sent by Sen. Ronnie Cromer (R-Newberry) and myself objecting the agency’s move without legislation or regulation.