Prescription pill state program not funded - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Prescription pill state program not funded

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A state program designed to combat prescription drug abuse in Georgia might run out of money only months after getting started.

Georgia lawmakers didn't budget money to run the prescription monitoring program that was created in 2011. The program would use an electronic database to track prescriptions. Prescription drug abuse causes or contributes to the overdose deaths of 11 Georgians a week.  Drug agents say the program would have helped fight pharmacy and doctor shopping. 

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Bill Berry said "There is just so many pharmacies out there that they don't have the time to check with each other to see who's forging prescriptions or who maybe has already gotten a prescription filled for the same thing just within the last few hours or maybe day or so."

The state received a two year, $400,000 federal grant to pay the start up costs for the prescription monitoring program, but that grant expires September 30th.

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