PDMP searches by law enforcement – Twitter thread from Health in Justice Action Lab @HiJAction
New from @ACLU_Mass & our lab: We FOIA’d @MassDPH for instances of law enforcement searching patients’ Prescription Drug Monitoring data. We found Federal, State, and Local law enforcement conducted thousands of searches of sensitive patient medical records. /1
Mass. State law enforcement conducted the most searches (5,000+). These data show what substances patients are prescribed, from hormones to opioids.
Doctors/pharmacists use data to inform practice, but so does law enforcement to build cases. /2
Below is a chart showing over 2,000 law enforcement searches for prescriber & pharmacy data.
Doctors’ prescribing is under increased scrutiny from the DEA. There are documented “chilling effects,”e.g. patients being abandoned, unable to access care or re-fill their Rx. /3
This graph compares searches for MAVEN (web-based surveillance system) and the MassPAT PDMP system. Law enforcement has searched these data, which contain sensitive clinical information, over 14,000 times. /4
Data and graphics brought to you by @onekade, @ACLU_Mass, and researchers at @HiJAction, @LeoBeletsky, @AnnieBoustead, @ZachWritesStuff, @bowlinearl & @natematia. Stay tuned for
more reports about patient privacy in the age of mass surveillance and the overdose crisis. /fin