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5 states announce prescription-data collaboration

The Columbus Dispatch / Reuters, June 19, 2014
The governors of five New England states said yesterday that they would begin to share data on prescriptions to cut down on "doctor shopping," with heroin addiction and overdose deaths on the rise as a result of prescription-painkiller abuse. The goal is to stop patients who have become dependent on opioid painkillers, which include Vicodin and Percocet, from visiting multiple doctors, typically without the doctors' knowledge, to obtain large amounts of the drugs. Such painkillers often are often prescribed after surgeries and major dental procedures. Dependence on those drugs can escalate into addiction to heroin, which is often cheaper, said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.