Oregon docs to feds: Hands off our prescription drug info

Oregon docs to feds: Hands off our prescription drug info


The Oregon Medical Association is the latest group to voice serious concerns about federal drug enforcements of the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program’s database.

Eight other state medical associations and the American Medical Association signed on to support the OMA in the brief it filed last month. The suit is pending before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The State Attorney General’s office filed the original suit in U.S. District Court in Portland in the fall of 2012.

Since DEA subpoenas do not need to be based on probable cause, Oregon sued to determine whether the state needed to comply. The American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in on behalf of several patients and a physician, arguing the subpoenas violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The judge agreed and the DEA appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

“If the DEA walked into my house and rifled through my medicine cabinet, that clearly would be a violation of the Constitution,” Wessler said. “The rules shouldn’t be be any different because the records are sitting in a secure state database.”

Cole also expressed concern about confidentiality and doctor-patient privacy.

“You could have providers and patient unfairly targeted by law enforcement because their information is an outlier in the data, even though it’s a legitimate case,” he said.

5 Responses

  1. It would be awesome for my primary care to treat me as he could with only referral for change in pain care. This would spread the burden and money. He has access to the monthly narcotic hit list. I am thrilled that some states are going to stop the discrimination and allow patients to be treated. Congratulations.

  2. We need doctors all over the country raising issues with the DEA. It’s the only way to stop what’s happening all over this country. Good people and Doctors are being targeted.

  3. Nice to see the Oregon Docs board raising this issue. It is groups like this that can get Congress to put a lid on the DEA.

  4. Nice to see Oregon physicians actively defending patient/doctor confidentiality.

    In another political environment, where monied interests do not control our so-called democracy, all medical practitioners would have the freedom to honor their ethical responsibility to patients, free of the chilling effect of unscrupulous, desperate regulators who would interfere with the compassionate treatment of people in intractable pain.

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