Tuesday, February 13, 2007
So long doctor-patient privilege (guest post by Uranus)
Last week I was surprised to learn that when a pharmacy in my state dispenses a scheduled drug, they are required to report the patient's social security number and driver's license number to a state board under a new program subsidized by federal funds called PMP. The stated purpose is to fight prescription fraud. Aside from revealing the most intimate details of the doctor-patient relationship, what else is happening? That information becomes part of a federal offender database, much like the information a person divulges in this state and others when purchasing ephedrine, a legal, safe, over-the-counter medication. Is this information available to prospective employers and insurance companies? I wonder about that because I wasn't aware an epidemic of prescription fraud was a big problem in this state or the nation, and I disagree that this information's worth to law enforcement justifies discarding the precious right of privacy with a doctor. We've turned yet another corner in our GOP-gestapo surveillance nation.