REPORT ALL DRUGS DISPENSED?

Should family clinicians be required to report to a central organization all drugs of any class given or sold to patients for the sole purpose of helping public health officials keep track of medication use? Is this a constitutionality issue?
—Bryant H. Hudson 3rd, MD, Montgomery, Ala.

I can see the usefulness of this suggestion from a public-health point of view, and the states, which traditionally regulate physicians and their practice, would have the power to do this if they wanted to. Any constitutional challenge would be on the basis of invasion of patient privacy rights, not the obvious administrative burden placed on clinicians.
—David S. Starr, MD, JD (105-13)

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