September 21, 2014

Law enforcement has high hopes for drug database

Although its launch has been delayed, law enforcement officials are looking forward to being able to use a statewide system designed to help track prescription drug purchases.

A state law passed in 2009 called for the creation of a database that can be used to track sales of prescription painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. While state officials are facing a delay in getting the system running, Lieutenant Brad Dunlap of the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group says pharmacies have already started collecting the information.

The data collection requirement kicked in at the start of 2013. Dunlap says the information will help identify those who may be doctor shopping to get their fix by allowing pharmacists to check to see how often a person has had a particular prescription filled recently at another location. He says those cases have become a burden for local law enforcement, because they make it easier for those drugs to get out on the black market.

AUDIO: Lt. Brad Dunlap (:19)

The Department of Safety and Professional Services says the launch of the system has been delayed because of ongoing contract talks with the Alabama-based company that was selected to provide the database.

Rick Schuh, WHBY