Doctors, law enforcement spar over prescription-drug database

More people than ever could be using Tennessee’s prescription-drug database under legislation expected to be proposed next year — everyone from medical examiners to judges and probation officers.

Prosecutors say it’s the only way to cut off the problem of pain-pill abuse at its source. The News Sentinel highlighted that problem in a series this year.

“What we’ve got to do is make it harder to get these pills on the streets,” said John Gill, special counsel to the Knox County district attorney general. “The database is not nearly as effective as it can be.”

Doctors, privacy advocates and others say the proposals go too far.


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