RI Senate approves letting law enforcement use pill database

By: The Associated Press

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill that would allow law enforcement access to an electronic database of prescription painkillers.              

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 21-14 to pass the bill Tuesday, with liberal Democrats joining Republicans in the opposition. It now moves to the state House of Representatives, with just days before lawmakers adjourn for the year.              

The proposal would give criminal investigators access to a database used by health professionals to track prescribing patterns for various opioids, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, stimulants and sedatives.              

Medical groups say the bill compromises patient confidentiality and the database should be a tool for health care, not law enforcement.              

The attorney general’s office says the bill would allow law enforcement to investigate “pill mills and drug diversion.”

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017