Abuse of the Federal Prescription Database Law
Bumped and Updated with new information, scroll down.
Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government's files. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in the federal database, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search.
John asks, what database? Does the Government keep a list of all of our prescriptions?
The answer is yes. I reported on it in 2005 when Bush signed the bill creating the electronic database:
I quoted from a news article which is no longer online:
President Bush signed into law a bill to create electronic monitoring programs to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs in all 50 states.
The new law creates a grant program for states to create databases and enhance existing ones in hopes of ending the practice of "doctor shopping" by drug abusers seeking multiple prescriptions. It would authorize $60 million for the program through fiscal 2010.
The bill, signed late Thursday at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch, was sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican representing Kentucky's 1st District.
And there you have it. Yes, every prescription you get is logged in a federal database.
Update: Thanks to the commenter below who pointed out Glenn Greenwald's explanation of the database today.
Update: John Aravosis at AmericaBlog has more:
The federal database of your private medical information is now being used by federal law enforcement to investigate crimes that have nothing to do with prescription drug abuse. We know this because yesterday ABC News disclosed that the feds checked the database to see what prescription meds the Virginia Tech shooter might have been on. How does the mass murder of students and faculty at Virginia Tech have anything to do with prescription drug abuse? It doesn't.
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