Pubdate: Tue, 31 Jul 2007
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2007 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: Keith Stewart, R.Ph.


Citizens beware! Effective July 1, all North Carolina pharmacies are 
now required by law to submit to the state Department of Health and 
Human Services the following information for each controlled 
substance dispensed: patient name, address, drug, strength, quantity 
and prescriber. These data are private health information protected 
by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and by federal HIPAA 
regulations, making this invasion of privacy both unconstitutional 
and illegal, I believe. If you do not wish the state to have this 
information, I would suggest the following: When you have a 
prescription for a controlled substance filled, ask whether the 
pharmacy is submitting your information to DHHS. If it is, inform the 
pharmacist that you wish to file a HIPAA complaint with the U.S. 
government for disclosing private health information without consent. 
The pharmacist should provide you with the form or assure you that 
the pharmacy will not disclose the information to DHHS.

I have repeatedly communicated these concerns to the state Attorney 
General's Office and to DHHS but have had no response. Several 
attorneys and judges have informed me that, although the intent of 
this law is good, it is unconstitutional and dangerous.

Protect your privacy by opposing this law.

Keith Stewart, R.Ph.

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