A proposed law now under consideration by the North Carolina General Assembly would allow police agencies to have access to a statewide database containing information from any doctor who has recorded prescribing controlled substances to their patients, according to a report in the Charlotte News & Observer.

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State Representative Greg Murphy said in a news conference, “Under very strict and very stringent guidelines, our law enforcement community will have access to the Controlled Substance Reporting System to help them in their efforts to investigate and prosecute individuals who obtain legal prescription medication by illegal means, as well as those who distribute illegal illicit medication and illegal opioids.”

The Controlled Substance Reporting System is a database of prescriptions that doctors and pharmacists can use to see if a patient is getting controlled substances from multiple doctors.

Dubbed the HOPE Act (for Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement Act), the bill would allow investigators working on an active cases to request prescription information. They would not have open access to the full database.

An estimated 13,000 people in the Tar Heel state have died from opioid-related overdoses since 1999.

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