A new state law requiring doctors to check a patient's drug history before
prescribing certain medications is now in effect.
Anthony Wilson, M. D. said, "I think it's important and I think
it is something that's going to help with the drug problem that Tennessee and
many states have been facing."
Dr. Wilson is the assistant professor for the University Of Tennessee
Graduate School Of Medicine and said prescription drug abuse is one of the
biggest problems facing the medical community, with a significant rise in the
number of drug-related deaths over the past decade. Dr. Wilson is a big
supporter of the state's Controlled Substance Monitoring Database (CSMD).
He said, "I think this will help curb some of that. It'll keep a lot of
the illegal uses of these medications down."
Jeffery Tuck, J. D., R.N. is the vice president and general counsel for
Summit Medical Group. He said, "If our physicians looked at the database
on the website and saw the patient they were about to prescribe a pain
medication for had receive a pain medication from another physician and the
patient did not reveal that to the physician writing the prescription then it
could be considered doctor shopping."
Tennessee law defines "doctor shopping" as a patient who receives
the same or similar medication from another physician within 30 days.
Dr. Tuck said doctors with Summit Medical Group have been training since the
beginning of the year on how to use the database.
"When they check the database they should indicate in the patient's
medical record that a new prescription is being issued today, here's why I
think the patient needs the prescription, and that I have checked the
controlled substance database," said Dr. Tuck.
Dr. Wilson said UT doctors have also been practicing for several months and
have found people trying to cheat the system. He said, "This is not
designed to keep medications away from patients who truly need them. This is
only designed to keep medications out of the hands of those who would misuse
If doctors do not follow the new state law,
Tennessee's Department of Health can issue fines and revoke licenses.