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Cops Want Pharmacists|to Take Fingerprints

PEORIA, Az. (CN) - The Peoria Police Department asked the City Council to enact a law requiring pharmacists to take customers' fingerprints before filling prescriptions. Police in this Phoenix suburb of 163,000 say such a law would help prevent forged prescriptions for Oxycontin and other narcotics.

At a City Council study session on Dec. 7, 2010, Peoria's Police Department suggested the city implement a new drug code to help deter forged prescriptions for OxyContin and other schedule I and schedule II drugs. Police said the city had been "inundated" with fraudulent prescriptions.

There is "a huge black market" for OxyContin, which is "becoming a national epidemic," the Police Department wrote in a Nov. 23 staff report. Police recommended that by "putting some extra checks and balances on the dispensing of ... drugs by pharmacies," drug-related crimes would decrease in Peoria.

ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Daniel Pochoda will speak today at a meeting of the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy to address the privacy implications of the proposal.

Pochoda says the proposed law "ignores the rights and well-being of patients and the responsibilities of medical providers and pharmacists."

The ACLU said it is concerned because the proposed law is not limited to people suspected of fraud, and most people who will be fingerprinted will not be subjects of a criminal prosecution.

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