State lawmakers mull prescription drug monitoring

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 4, 2013 8:25 AM
prescription pills drugs bottle

(Washington, Pa.) -- State lawmakers, spurred by a rise in prescription drug overdose deaths, are considering a monitoring effort aimed at preventing people from other states who are addicted to narcotic painkillers from obtaining the drugs in Pennsylvania. 

House lawmakers are poised for a final vote on a measure to set up a database that would flag patients or customers who have already received an adequate supply of drugs containing opiates or synthetic opiates.

Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone says the law would be a major tool in preventing the illegal use of such drugs as Oxycontin.

He says prescription drug abuse also fuels a rise in heroin trafficking since people who can't afford the price of Oxycontin turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative.

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