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Pa. House Passes Prescription Drug Database Bill, Amid Privacy Concerns

(The state capitol in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The state capitol in Harrisburg. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Amid concerns about privacy, the state House has passed and sent the Senate a bill that would create a state database to monitor the dispensing and use of prescription drugs.

Supporters of the measure say the database is necessary to combat the rising problem of prescription drug abuse. Allegheny County House Democrat Dan Miller sponsored an amendment that requires law enforcement to get a warrant before accessing information from the database about so-called “schedule 2” drugs, with a high potential for abuse.

“We offer a bill that while addressing the concerns and needs of law enforcement also keeps up the concerns of privacy. And I recognize that to be a difficult balance.”

But Montgomery County Republican Todd Stephens opposed the bill because of that amendment.

“Unfortunately this bill takes us a step backwards from where our current law enforcement community is relative to schedule 2 prescription drugs.”

The bill goes to the Senate where its fate is unclear at the moment.

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