Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jerry Brown's Rx for drug abuse: the Internet

For now it appears that Jerry Brown's plan to create an online prescription drug database to catch would be drug abusers and fraudsters isn't going to make a major media splash. As I discussed in detail yesterday, this database would be available to doctors, pharmacists, health workers, and even law enforcement.

I only found one major newspaper article on yesterday's announcement and press conference, but before I get to that, here's the link to KQED's segment on the database with a clip from my interview. Just go to the California Report and about half way in to the 10 minute program on June 5th you'll find the segment.

Or just click here: Listen (RealMedia stream) Download (MP3)

Since I talked about the issue for at least 10 minutes with KQED, I suggest you check out yesterday's post to get a more complete version of our organization's concerns about the program rather than just the one sentence soundbite in the clip.

As for today's article in the Los Angeles Times, it was short and sweet. with no real discussion of the myriad of issues we should be discussing (and will in the coming weeks and months I'm sure). Here are a few highlights:

State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown unveiled a plan Wednesday to provide doctors and pharmacists with almost instant Internet access to patient prescription drug histories to help prevent so-called doctor shopping and other abuses of pharmaceuticals.


Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego, called the online access "a classic double-edged sword.""Obviously there is a good reason for it, but there could be significant privacy abuses that could end up harming individuals," Givens said, adding that patents should have access to their drug histories to ensure accuracy.

There is no more respected expert on this issue than Beth Givens - who I personally consulted on this issue yesterday. As more details on this program become available, you can be sure I'll be looking to groups like the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the World Privacy Forum for advice and expertise.


Anonymous said...

My only concern with Mr.Brown's plan is that it seems to go beyond what is reasonable by breaking the bounds of privacy,by making personal records available to all those parties.
Diana King
Addiction Recovery California

ZJK said...

Thanks for the post. Now, let me apologize to everyone. Due to issues with my account, for the past year and a half I was not aware of all the comments that were being submitted (just discovered them on June 5, 2009)!! I went back and approved some, but others were so long ago it just didn't make much sense. At any rate, thank you, and I will be aware of comments in the future so comment away...Zack