Anne Arundel executive backs plan to use prescription monitoring program for law enforcement

January 30, 2018

Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh supports a proposal requiring health officials to review findings by the state prescription monitoring program for signs of abuse by doctors and allow them to turn over findings to local law enforcement for possible charges.

Schuh sent a letter supporting legislation by Del. Erek Barron that would toughen the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program as an enforcement tool. Schuh wrote the Maryland House of Delegates Health and Government Operation Committee, which held a hearing on the bill on Tuesday.

In his letter, Schuh also requested an amendment that would allow local health officers to review the program’s data upon approval by the state secretary of health.

“As the opioid emergency continues in the state and our county, it is important to remember that 80 percent o addictions began with prescription pain medication,” Schuh wrote. “While the vast majority of providers utilize appropriate prescribing practices, there are negligent and malicious actors in our communities that overprescribe or purposefully feed the dependency of their patients for profits.”