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State behind on prescription drugs database to monitor abuses

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin is behind schedule in setting up a statewide database on prescription drugs – and who’s supposed to get what medicines.

A state law was passed in 2009 requiring about 12-hundred drug dispensers to report their transactions – so it’s easier to track painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin which are often abused by others.

Pharmacies have been required since January first to collect the data for the state.

Greg Gasper of the Department of Safety and Professional Services said his agency selected an Alabama company to provide the database. But they’re still negotiating the details with the firm of Health Information Designs. Gasper expects the deal to be finalized soon.

Tom Engels of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin says pharmacies already collect the data, so it’s just a matter of getting it to Madison efficiently.

Law enforcement groups can access the new database by obtaining court orders.

Meanwhile, veterinarians are still trying to be exempt from the new reporting requirements. They say that very few people try to abuse drugs meant for animals – and they say the reporting would be expensive because many don’t keep records electronically.

The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association says it will try again in the new legislative session to get an exemption.

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