Controlled substance registration system could be coming to Minnesota

February 13, 2019 06:46 PM

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy is looking to improve its Prescription Monitoring Program, a database designed to make it more difficult for people to obtain large amounts of painkillers.

Executive Director Cody Wiberg tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that improvement would come through the establishment of a statewide controlled substance registration system.

In Minnesota, narcotics are often dispensed through licensed pharmacies such as Walgreens or CVS.

Some doctors, however, dispense drugs directly from their office.

Those physicians, though, are not required to register with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy.

"We have no idea who might be dispensing any sort of drugs, including controlled substances," Wiberg said.

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That's why Wiberg supports the creation of a statewide controlled substance registration system.

"It's something other states have done successfully - sometimes for decades," Wiberg said.

Wiberg said the system would require wholesalers to identify who they're shipping their narcotics to in Minnesota, and the exact quantities.

If the Board of Pharmacy, for example, was notified of a large shipment of opiates, it could then ensure the drugs were being dispensed properly through the doctor's entries in the Prescription Monitoring Program.

"This would give us an opportunity to identify something that we don't know about right now," Wiberg said. "We regulate, but we simply don't know where this is happening."

Funding to create a controlled substance registration system in Minnesota may be included in Gov. Tim Walz' 2019 state budget.

The exact details of the budget will be released next Tuesday.

Wiberg said he wasn't at liberty to comment on what may or may not be in Walz' budget.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Walz' office for comment but have yet to receive a response.

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Tim Vetscher

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