The Norman Transcript

February 26, 2014

Stop the doctor shopping

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma lawmakers have taken many steps to cut down on illegal drug abuse. Now, they’re taking better aim at prescription drug abuse, a growing problem in the state.

A state Senate committee has approved legislation requiring health care providers to check an online prescription database before prescribing some highly abused narcotics.

The database already exists, but not all health care professionals take the time to check it. If they did, they would see that many of their patients are doctor shopping, making multiple visits to obtain drugs.

Gov. Mary Fallin said 81 percent of drug-related deaths in Oklahoma are caused by prescription drug abuse. Eight percent of the state’s population is abusing painkillers. That’s twice the national average.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for a hearing.

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