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Plan to Combat Prescription Drug Fraud Unveiled in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey will be paying more attention to certain types of prescriptions in their efforts to curb prescription drug fraud and abuse. It has introduced a program to track prescriptions filled for controlled substances and human growth hormones.

The new system, similar to that in many other states, will allow doctors and law enforcement to identify patients who receive multiple prescriptions from different physicians or filling them at different pharmacies. It will also target doctors and pharmacists who improperly approve or fill prescriptions for unusually large amounts of certain types of drugs.

Doctors will have access to a database that will allow them to determine whether a patient's prescription history suggests addiction or abuse. Pharmacists will be able to find out if a customer is obtaining the same prescription at another pharmacy.

Although experts say that this new program can be helpful in combating prescription fraud and addiction, physicians and pharmacists are not required to use it. And in some states, physicians have been reluctant to adopt similar programs because they fear that the government would be looking at every prescription they write. However, for an investigator or detective to gain access to the information, he or she would need a court order or subpoena.

Source: NJ.com, "N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs will crack down on prescription drug crimes, attorney general says," Jan. 30, 2012.

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