States Urge Methadone Clinic Reporting to Databases

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia has joined 32 other states in urging federal health officials to let methadone clinics bypass a patient’s permission in order to submit dispensing data to prescription drug monitoring databases.

The letter from a coalition of attorneys general was sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Monday, the deadline for comments on a proposed rule change on patient record confidentiality.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Wednesday many states mandate that health providers register with and check that state’s monitoring database before prescribing potentially addictive medications, but methadone clinics are exempt under federal rules.

He says removing the exemption will reduce opioid diversion, misuse and abuse; prevent physicians from unknowingly overprescribing them; and help avoid potential deadly drug combinations.