In 2007, the state Legislature voted to create a database that would help doctors and law enforcement agencies track prescriptions for controlled substances issued to anyone in the state.
The program was designed to curb abuse of controlled substances — such as OxyContin — that are legally prescribed.
However, no money was allocated for the program and it was never implemented.
Steven Saxe, director of health professions and facilities for the state Department of Public Health, said the database would allow doctors to determine whether a patient was "doctor shopping" — obtaining controlled substances from multiple prescribers.
The program was aimed at curbing abuse of all controlled substances that are legally prescribed. That includes controlled substances such as oxycodone — the active ingredient in OxyContin; Percocet and Percodan — and benzo-diazepines such as Xanax and Valium, both anti-anxiety drugs.
The legislation authorizing the drug-monitoring program required that the database provide dispensers of prescriptions with "real time" information on a patient's prescription history.
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