RI weighs prescription drug registry to curb abuse

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is weighing whether to create a prescription drug registry so doctors and pharmacists can see which patients may be struggling with substance abuse.

The electronic registry would track the prescriptions of controlled substances so health professionals could see how often a patient has received them. New York state began a similar prescription monitoring program earlier this year, and lawmakers in Rhode Island are interested in exploring the same idea as a way to prevent prescription drug abuse.

A commission to study the idea will meet for the first time Monday at the Statehouse.

The commission will be led by Rep. William O'Brien, a North Providence Democrat. It also includes state health officials, physicians and a community mental health expert.

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