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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Florida State Representative Jack Seiler. He gets the award for the following.

Should Broward County be the state's first county to have a prescription-drug monitoring program?

It's a question state legislators are expected to take up in March, thanks to a bill the Broward Legislative Delegation has approved.

Under the proposal, a pilot program in Broward County overseen by county officials would begin by 2009, letting local doctors and police tap into a database to make sure people aren't improperly getting medication from several doctors, a practice called "doctor shopping."

"This is a crisis, and it needs to be addressed," said state Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors.

He sponsored the bill on behalf of local database advocates concerned about overdoses, including police, judges, prosecutors, drug-abuse officials, physicians and family groups.

Somehow the deaths of 700 people statewide(Florida has approximately 16 million residents) using either oxycodone or methadone justies invading people's privacy. Call it a crisis, that's the magic code word in order to let law enforcement and the government know how much medications I take for my Stage III cancer and for the edema in one of my legs.

Simply put there is no justification for the legislation Seiler is proposing. Law enforcement has plenty of tools to catch those doctor shopping and I draw the line at letting them invade law abiding citizen's medical privacy. Seiler wants to give them a helping hand, I'll give him something. I name Florida State Representative Jack Seiler today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (26)

Sorry, but you've jumped th... (Below threshold)
epador:

Sorry, but you've jumped the shark on this one. Diversion and abuse of prescription drugs is a BIG problem.

These drugs find there way even into the local elementary schools, and often fund illegal drug abuse and distribution organizations. There is huge under reporting of death and injury due to this - most local ME's really don't want to strain their budget to do the analysis on DOA and MVA victims. The use of strong prescription drugs isn't a right, its a privilege. And when there is risk to the community at large if you are abusing or selling these drugs, there is every reason to keep an eye on the scripts.

This bill does not make new information available to docs or law enforcement - it simply allows a computerized database to make it easier for a family doc or ER physician presented with a patient demanding a controlled substance to determine if they're story is true or they've been shopping around. In my little county in Oregon, we have to call around to over 50 pharmacies to check prescription profiles when we suspect an abuser or diverter. That's a hell of alot of resource for a charity clinic to devote to one patient. And there are literally hundreds of them in our little 35,000 population county. Oregon recently defeated (by tabling) a similar resolution, in large part due to the efforts of one of your favorite organizations, the ACLU. The State Medical Society also disapproved, because the doctors didn't want to pay for it. As all the surrounding states already have monitoring programs, guess where all the abusers are heading. I see tham coming in from WA, Idaho, and California.

I am sure Florida has a MUCH bigger problem. Your population is much higher, and the drug route through Miami is gimongous.

Bill, if it was your little girl who was crushed by a truck driven by a woman narcotized by Dilaudid and Fentanyl patches prescribed by three different doctors in three counties, would you think that that one of 700 recognized Florida deaths would justify a program that more than half of all States already have (and have demonstrated that they do work)? And cite me all the terrible consequences that have occurred to law abiding citizens because of these laws where they already exist. Otherwise you need to rethink your position.

Maybe you missed this, epad... (Below threshold)
Bo:

Maybe you missed this, epador...

"Under the proposal, a pilot program in Broward County overseen by county officials would begin by 2009, letting local doctors and police tap into a database to make sure people aren't improperly getting medication from several doctors, a practice called "doctor shopping."
(emphasis mine)

There's a HUGE difference in establishing a healthcare provider database and in opening that database to law enforcement without an appropriately issued warrant.

Why would any doctor yield ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Why would any doctor yield to a patient DEMANDING prescription drugs, especially one by name?

Every time I hav ehad to get something like that, the doctor was the one suggesting them in the first place, based upon the problem I was undergoing.

I currently have 7 drugs I take, prescribed by three doctors. The difference? My three doctors are working TOGETHER to keep me in the best shape. But this bill sounds like it would have the police on my doorstep.

And when I was being treated for cancer (Stage IV) it would have been worse. Sounds like the cure worse then the deseise to me.

I am a police detective in ... (Below threshold)

I am a police detective in Philadelphia, and even I see this as shenanigans of the highest order. It basically allows for entry into a person's medical records without a warrant, and without disregard to HIPA laws.

It also paves the way for a less scrupulous law enforcement official to go "fishing" for crimes. Those tactics will never hold up upon appeal.

Never gonna happen... The p... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Never gonna happen... The pro abortion crowd will be all over this.

(if you don't get why, wikipedia is your friend.)

Bill, Does this upse... (Below threshold)

Bill,
Does this upset you because Rush was once a doctor shopper in Fla?

Live,What I think ... (Below threshold)

Live,

What I think about Limbaugh can be summed up in this post.

Most of these programs have... (Below threshold)
epador:

Most of these programs have fairly stringent restrictions on how and when the local police can search the records. The DEA has access to the information already. So the Feds know what's happening, if they care to look.

The saddest part of this program is it only pertains to one county rather than the entire State.

I still fail to see anyone offering an example of abuse of the systems that are already in place.

Paul: This only covers DEA... (Below threshold)
epador:

Paul: This only covers DEA restricted drugs: stimulants, narcotics, anabolic steroids, barbiturates, etc. Other prescription drugs that are not "controlled" by Federal statute (antibiotics, anti-retrovirals, blood pressure and cholesterol meds, abortifacients), would not be monitored.

Mycroft:I can have... (Below threshold)
epador:

Mycroft:

I can have my license suspended or revoked for NOT providing pain medication to a patient in pain. So if someone presents to the office complaining of pain, even if they seem a little demanding, I have to either prove they are faking or treat them for their pain with something appropriate. These professional diverters know this.

Its tricky to prove someone is or isn't in pain, and drug seekers are true professionals at learning what does and does not work when then go into a provider's office. I can save a lot of time with these folks if I can quickly prove their stories are lies, and having a pharmacy record of their recent prescriptions is a very powerful tool in this regard. The successful ones are great actors, very smooth operators, and continuously update their act and operations. Unless they have multiple identities, their criminal activity is easily exposed by monitoring programs, so they move elsewhere if they feel they are threatened with exposure.

Someone had better wake up,... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Someone had better wake up, especially if you have children. Dr shoppers are the prime suppliers of prescription drugs to drug dealers. There's enough problems with drugs without adding to them. Just stopped at a neighbors home and they told me about their 5 year old grandson using a straw to sniff Koolaide up his nose because he saw someone else doing it. The person he saw wasn't using Koolaide, but crushed pain pills (your cancer drug), and if the five year old had found the supply, up his nose it would have went.

I tried to leave this link ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I tried to leave this link before but got scrubbed:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/addiction/publications/prescription-fs.pdf

It provides a clear argument for the program, a map of where programs already exist, and a link to national information on promotion of such programs.

Right on Scrappy!P... (Below threshold)
epador:

Right on Scrappy!

Pharm Parties.

Wiki and Google them, if you don't know what they are about.

You see, the gooberment is ... (Below threshold)

You see, the gooberment is doing it for our own good.

And yet some have problems ... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

And yet some have problems with government wiretapping overseas terrorists without a warrant.

This company provides Rx da... (Below threshold)

This company provides Rx database info to combat meth production.


http://www.appriss.com/MethCheckRX.html


With legislative approval, the move to monitoring pharmaceutical narcotics et al would be easy.

Broward County has to be th... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Broward County has to be the most f***ed up county in the state.
Dominated by the Democrat party machine they run rampant over anyone they please and whitewash or totally ignore crimes committed by prominent members. Its a miniature version of Massachusetts from top to bottom repleat with voting machinations and judgeships controlled by pedophiles.

Now they want to have free reign to see what your medical records are? Yep, I can see just where this one is heading.

GMAC,So are you sayi... (Below threshold)

GMAC,
So are you saying it's OK for the Feds to see your phone and internt records, just not your medical records?

LiveSo are y... (Below threshold)

Live

So are you saying it's OK for the Feds to see your phone and internt records, just not your medical records?

How did we get from Med records to phone and internet on this post? Or are you just stuffing words in someone's mouth?

They are only seeing the PH... (Below threshold)
epador:

They are only seeing the PHARMACY records of controlled substances, which, though they are part of your overall records, are hopefully a small part of the records.

Look, doctors, pharmacists and certain law enforcement officials ALREADY have the access to these records. The change is to make the information more easily accessed. Anyone with the right credentials can get at these records now, but has to make a call to each pharmacy, one at a time. Skullduggery-inclined folks will not let this stop them. Honest folks trying to take care of patients, who are already overworked, may not have the time it takes to make 30-50 calls to make sure their prescriptions are appropriate.

I repeat, these laws do not give new access to information. It just makes it more likely that the needed information can be accessed in a timely manner by those who need it to protect their patients and the community.

C'mon now, argue against that, rather than make uninformed and disingenuously contrived emotional arguments about invasion of privacy.

The Nightly News at #18 is ... (Below threshold)

The Nightly News at #18 is a hijacker. There is a big difference between HIPPA and National Security surveillance.

The civil libertarian in all of us should be skeptical of any new federal tracking system, but equating the subject of Bill's post with foreign surveillance is a straw man argument.

>Paul: This only covers DEA... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Paul: This only covers DEA restricted drugs:

What does that have to do with my comment?

If the supreme court says there is a right to privacy in the constitution that covers the killing of unborn children, certainly it extends to this... In short, if this is constitutional, Roe V Wade isn't.

I told you to wikipedia my point.

I am not personally affecte... (Below threshold)

I am not personally affected as I don't get sick and won't have anything to do with doctors.

Having said that, I don't like it because of how the stink'n politician phrased his point. He used the word crisis. I've learned that when a pol say "it's a crisis" or "it's for the children" it means they are doing something they shouldn't. Either they are reaching for your wallet or they are messing with out rights. I'm a big supporter of law enforcement. My spouse is in law enforcement. However, I can recognize that the desire to eradicate crime can lead to questionable decision. Often questionable tactics (entrapment) are defended along those lines or by a claim to be necessary for public safety.

So this guy is a knucklehea... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

So this guy is a knucklehead?
Maybe he was aware of this...
from our own Govt..

http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/prescr_drg_abuse.html
sorry for the link but I try at times to move beyond my personal opinion

This is so that the next ti... (Below threshold)
steve poling:

This is so that the next time a Florida prosecutor tries to trump up a drug charge against an certain radio talk show host he can make it stick.

Perhaps Mr. Huckabee could add this as a plank in his campaign platform.

Sad to see so many ready to... (Below threshold)
epador:

Sad to see so many ready to continue to sacrifice people's lives to distorted ideals. Last year we had 5 deaths related to prescription drug abuse, two leaving several kids orphaned, in the last 3 months of the year. All that would have been prevented if the individual prescribers had been aware of the multiple prescriptions these folks were receiving from multiple prescribers. But hey, you can spout off libertarian-based screed and feel secure. Merry Christmas and Ho Ho Ho.




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