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Prescription Drug Overdoses Might Soon Be Subject To Closer Police Scrutiny

Police Could Investigate Information Found On Pill Bottle, Contact Doctors

Gilman Halsted/WPR

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said a bill aimed at reducing the number of people addicted to pain medications will give police a new role in preventing drug overdoses.

Schimel said the bill would require police to report the information on pill bottles found while investigating an overdose to the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and to the doctor who prescribed the drugs.

“It will be a great tool to enable law enforcement to alert the doctors that the drugs they prescribed have ended up being abused somehow,” he said. “No doctor would want to be unaware of that as they continue to treat their patient.”

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Pain management clinicians said they like the idea, but caution that it might be costly to for police departments to adapt the software the state now uses to monitor the way pharmacies are filling prescriptions in a way that allows officers to input the information. The American Academy of Pain Management is urging the state to run a feasibility study before implementing the new law.