New Hampshire will join 48 other states in monitoring prescription drugs under a new law signed by Governor John Lynch.
The new law creates a database to track prescriptions of heavily abused drugs like Vicodin, Oxycontin and Ritalin. Police will need a court order to access the information, but doctors and pharmacies will be able to check if a patient has sought or filled multiple prescriptions. Governor Lynch says the program will improve public safety.
“There is a problem in New Hampshire with the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs, and this program will allow us to continue to deal with this problem that we have in New Hampshire.”
Drug related deaths in NH have outnumbered traffic fatalities in four of the last five years. And teenagers here abuse prescription drugs at rates above the national average. Concerns over privacy had scuttled several past attempts to set up a drug monitoring program. But under the new law all information will be deleted after six months unless abuse is suspected. Missouri is now the only state without a law or database to track prescription drugs.