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Florida prescription drug crime found with use of database?

The Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program began in 2011 and has changed the way that law enforcement seeks information about suspected drug crimes. In fact, they have used the database to monitor prescription drug crime and have requested information on as many as 33,000 patients in our state. This, some say, is a violation of privacy.

According to a report, Florida officials need not obtain a subpoena or search warrant before seeking information from the PDMP database. This means that some information of non-prescription drug crime suspects may be delivered to officials inadvertently. That information could include all of the prescriptions prescribed to an individuals patient in our state.

The database is being used more frequently by physicians in our state. In fact, they reportedly accessed the data in the system over 3.7 million times in 2013 alone. That is a huge 61 percent increase form the year before. This may have also led to the lowering of the number of those who are suspected of doctor shopping, something that has become common in Florida, the report notes.

Being charged with prescription drug crime is a very stressful event for people in our state and could necessitate the preparation of a criminal defense strategy. In addition, those who are not charged with a crime but may have had their information passed on to authorities may find that action stressful. In each case, people may wish to consider following the debate about this sometimes-controversial database as proposed changes, including the need for a subpoena to gain information, is debated in our state's government. What changes are made could be important to many in our state.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, More than 87 million prescription records in database, Amy Pavuk, Jan. 18, 2014

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Ian F. Mann PA

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Fort Myers, FL 33901

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