A monitoring system aimed at stopping people from going to doctor to doctor to get prescriptions for addictive pain medication, like OxyContin, will be online in Alabama by the first of next year.
State Health Officer Don Williamson joined two Republican lawmakers -- U-S Senator Jeff Sessions and state Senator Larry Dixon of Montgomery -- at a news conference today to promote state and national efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse. Williamson said Alabama's program was authorized by a bill approved last year by the Legislature and is being paid for partly by adding a ten-dollar charge to the fee doctors, dentists and veterinarians pay for a license that allows them to prescribe controlled substances. The state also received 700-thousand dollars in federal grants.
Sessions said he plans to reintroduce a bill in Congress this year to help states initiate drug monitoring. Similar legislation failed in 2004. Dixon, who serves as executive director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, said the monitoring would not prevent or delay cancer patients or others in pain from getting the medication they need.
Courtesy: Alabama Associated Press
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