State House votes to create electronic database for drug prescriptions

ATLANTA — The state House this week voted to create an electronic database to track certain drug prescriptions, a move proponents say will help cut down on misuse of prescription drugs.

“This bill is a step toward enabling physicians and pharmacists to share information that will allow them to better care for their patients while simultaneously tracking drug abusers and traffickers,” state Rep. Tom Weldon, R-Ringgold, said in a news release.

The database would track the prescribing and dispensing of Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances. The measure, Senate Bill 36, passed the state House on Thursday by a 117-45 margin; the state Senate approved the bill in February.

Proponents of the measure say physicians currently have no way of knowing whether their patients are also receiving prescriptions from other doctors, which could lead to abuse and/or the illegal sale of prescription drugs.

Only doctors and pharmacists could access the secured database, officials say.

The legislation also calls for the creation of a Electronic Database Review Advisory Committee. The committee would include representatives from a number of state agencies, including the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the Georgia Board of Dentistry.

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