Enhancing prescription drug database part of Corbett Medicaid plan

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal on Medicaid includes smaller pieces of health-care policy that remain in the hands of Pennsylvania’s lawmakers.

    One is an effort to expand the state’s database tracking prescription drugs.

    Broadening the database has been shown to reduce drug abuse, because prescribers and dispensers of medication can check for patterns in a patient’s behavior suggesting abuse, said Richard Schott, a Delaware County cardiologist and president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

    All of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have a more expansive monitoring system, he said.

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    “And the problem is that a major proportion of our population lives close to the border and they travel –- health-care systems do not know the physical borders of our state,” Schott said. “So they quickly learn that it’s easy to scam drugs from docs in Pennsylvania.”

    The state has a limited database, and only law enforcement can access it.

    A bill to make it track all kinds of prescription drugs and allow access to doctors and pharmacists passed out of a House committee early this year.

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