The Alabama legislature recently established and implemented a controlled substance database for the entire state of Alabama. The purpose of this database is to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances under the Alabama Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Pharmacies, licensed physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, or veterinarians who dispense Class II, Class III, Class IV, and Class V controlled substances are subject to the reporting requirements of the Controlled Substances Prescription Database. The information contained in the database includes:
(1) Name or other identifying designation of the prescribing practitioner.
(2) Date prescription was filled or medications dispensed.
(3) Name of person and full address for whom the prescription was written or to whom the medications were dispensed.
(4) National Drug Code (NDC) of controlled substance dispensed.
(5) Quantity of controlled substance dispensed.
(6) Name or other identifying designation of dispensing pharmacy or practitioner.
(7) Other data elements consistent with standards established by the American Society for
Automation in Pharmacy as may be designated by regulations adopted by the department.
The information in the database is privileged, confidential, and not a public record. Therefore, it is not subject to subpoena or discovery in civil proceedings. However, it does not mean that the information is not a valuable resource. Those involved in Workers’ Compensation matters should encourage the authorized treating physician to regularly check the database for any signs of fraud or abuse of controlled substances.