Minnesota monitoring prescription drugs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Starting this week, Minnesota residents who fill prescriptions for addictive drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin are going into a new state database.

The aim is to stop drug abusers and dealers from shopping around for prescriptions.

Pharmacies were required to start reporting to the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program on Monday. By March, doctors, dentists and pharmacists can use the system to identify patients who get too many habit-forming medicines.

The state database is expected to track more than a million prescriptions a year.

Patients should see signs announcing the new system, or get information on a handout or receipt with their prescription.

Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and clinics that administer pain medications directly to patients are not part of the tracking program.

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