Back in 2017 I reported on how the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Prescription Monitoring Program was tracking 60 percent of Americans personal information and prescriptions.
But now an article in Filter Mag revealed that the DEA wants unlimited access to millions of Americans’ prescription records.
The DEA is looking to expand its anti-diversion surveillance infrastructure by being able to search and analyze myriad patient behaviors for the vast majority of controlled and scheduled drug prescriptions—all accompanied by a rapid process for legally unveiling personally identifying information.”
In early September, the agency requested proposals for the creation of software capable of searching at least 85 percent of all US residents’ controlled-substance prescriptions for certain patient behaviors, as well as prescriber and pharmacist practices.
The DEA wants to give their agents “unlimited access to patient de-identified data” on re/filled prescriptions, daily supply, payment type, dosing information and gender.”
The “de-identified” data the DEA will have access to includes things like a patients, gender, age group, city, state, zip code and the number of instances of more than one Schedule II prescription drug at the same address. It also includes things like the distance between a patient and the pharmacy.
The DEA’s Prescription Monitoring Program would let at least 1,100 DEA agents have access to the so-called de-identified patient prescription data simultaneously and it would also have a streamlined subpoena process. (Pages 11 and 13 of the DEA’s Proposal for Pharmacy Prescription Data in Filter Mag.)
Why would the DEA want to give 1,100 agents access to “de-identified” patient subscription data and why would they want a streamlined subpoena process if they could not identify individuals?
According to a 2016 NPR article the DEA could be monitoring 119 million Americans taking prescription drugs.