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Like Being Monitored? The Fed Watches Every Prescription Medication You Take! Your State May Watch You, Too!

Updated on November 11, 2011

Uncle Sam Knows What You Are Doing!

The Federal Prescription Database Law Means The Government Is Watching You!

If you ever have any concerns about your right to privacy, don't worry. Your right to privacy in this country is imaginary. If you take any prescription medications, the government knows and tracks them. In 2005, President George W. Bush signed into law the Federal Prescription Database Law. The law provided for the creation of a national database to list the prescribed medications you take. The database also tracks how often you purchase those medications. The database and the information recorded has been used by the government for many purposes; one of which is to determine criminal behavior such as doctor shopping. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Law enforcement, medical providers and pharmacies have access to your medication records. The question of hacker access is also a concern.

Additionally, 37 states have also created prescription databases. They are called Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PMP's) and even though the law was originally designed to track opoids and painkillers, all of your prescriptions may be noted.

The government, in its wisdom, believes that these databases are designed to protect your health and safety and that is a valid enough reason to circumvent any right to privacy you may believe you have. It is amazing how easily people will give up their rights when they are told it is for their own good. No complaints, no questions asked because the government says these databases will help them document and treat drug abuse. It is my understanding that drug abuse in this country has not decreased, but increased in the 6 years that this law has been in effect. However, the implementation of these databases has cost millions and millions of dollars.

Reassuring To Know That The Government Takes HIPAA So Seriously! Not!

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was supposed to protect private patient information. HIPAA is the reason that when you check in at your doctor's office, you have to wait behind a line so that you cannot hear the patient in front of you. Unless you are hearing impaired, the line doesn't work. Most people hear everything said by the patient in front of them.

HIPAA is also the reason that when you go to the pharmacy, there is one of those lines where 'X' Marks the Spot. Again, the line is a ridiculous attempt to protect your privacy. That privacy boundary is useless unless the pharmacist and the patient are whispering or speaking in some secret code. The patient in front of you becomes even more interesting when the pharmacist announces that he or she is seeking a refill of their medication too soon. "Why, Mrs. Jane Doe, you just picked up this controlled substance 24 days ago! It is far too soon for you to be seeking a refill. Are you using too much of this medication? Should we call your doctor?" or "Mr. John Doe, your Zoloft (for depression) cannot be refilled at this time. We don't have it in stock." or even worse, they call you by your real name, ask you to verify your address and phone number and then say, "Your insurance won't cover your Viagara! Do you want to pay cash?"

These attempts to protect patient information are, at best, ludicrous, but you would think that a prescription database is even more of a violation of HIPAA. If the intent of the law is to protect your privacy, easily accessed prescription databases would seem to be contrary to the goal of privacy protection. Violations have occurred, even with just the use of networked computers and less than ethical staff.

A few years ago, right before the national pharmacy database was created, a very large nation-wide pharmacy chain was accused of and sued by patients because members of their pharmacy staff would enter descriptive and even slanderous statements about customers. The comments ranged from "This lady is a PSYCHO" to "This patient is a BITCH" all the way to "This patient is a low-life drug-seeker". The computer network at the time was connected to over 5,000 of the chains' stores and those comments were available for viewing by each and every pharmacy employee. The patients became aware of the slanderous comments because the comments appeared on the paper printouts that accompany medications.

Even though that case was brought to court and settled by the chain, complaints about privacy violations and pharmacies continue to persist and the internet is flooded with them.

Why Your New Doctor May Not Need To Ask What Medications You Take!

Personal experience may seem irrelevant, but recent events have made me more aware of how little privacy we have. I have worked in the medical field for over 30 years and must be HIPAA certified annually, but was unaware of the national pharmacy database, much less the state pharmacy database. I guess I should have known, but the thought never entered my mind. Now I wonder if my name has been flagged as a 'drug seeker'.

In the last two months, I underwent a very serious surgery and when I was discharged from the hospital I was asked if I needed pain medications, in spite of the fact that they already knew that I have been a pain management patient for 4 years due to a degenerative spine and a failed spinal fusion. I told the doctor that I needed no additional medication and was advised to increase my dosage from one pill every 6 hours to one pill every 4 hours. At the time, I didn't even think about running out of the medication too soon.

Since then, my insurance coverage has changed and I have had to choose a new doctor and hospital network that is completely unrelated to the first hospital. They do not share medical records. Upon my first appointment with my new doctor, I brought in all of my medications in the original containers. He put my name in his computer and every medication that I had received in the unrelated hospital appeared, as well as all of my regular medications. I was, needless to say, a little surprised that even the antibiotics that had been prescribed in the hospital appeared on the computer screen. I didn't ask why at the time, just volunteered that I was no longer taking the hospital meds.

The physician then gave me new prescriptions for all of my current medications. Because I had been instructed to take more of my pain management medications after surgery, I was running out and went to the new network pharmacy with my new insurance information and my prescriptions. Again, this prescription had never been filled at this pharmacy, but I was told that it was "...too soon to fill this prescription and that the directions say take one every 6 hours, was I taking too many and did I have a problem?"

So, today, after a little bit of research, some embarrassment and even more anger, I have educated myself. Yes, Jillian, the government is watching you, but don't be concerned. The loss of privacy is good for you...Your government says so...


Submit a Comment

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    That is why we here at Hub Pages have a responsibility to get the word out, which is why I believe Google has gone to War against Hub Pages.

    Everybody has noticed the drop in page views, I used to average 1,500 a day and am down to 3 or 4 hundred.

    We here at Hub Pages are the new investigative reporters as we can publish what ever we want, the MSM has been owned and operated for far too long and for the most part silenced.

    I feel it is our duty to share on the topics other writers are unable to do so and I for one will go at it as long as they permit me.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA


    And when people do report something they are not supposed to, they sometimes are incarcerated or silenced in other ways...

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    The reason of course is the (MSM) Main Stream Media is controlled by the Puppet Masters and only reports what it its told to report.

    Notice we haven't heard a peep about the three suspects arrested in the woods and led handcuffed through the parking lot.

    With cameras everywhere we don't get the shots that would prove their story.

    Anyway this is a very good article about how pharmaceutical companies keep tabs on all of us and I don't wish to start a discussion that isn't related to it but thanks for responding.

  • Michele Travis profile image

    Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

    somethgblue That is not off topic at all. It is a very good question. Just wish someone had some sort of answer.

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    Michele Travis, there are cameras everywhere which makes you wonder why we have never seen any film footage of this supposed kid approaching Sandy Hook Elementary school armed to the teeth.

    The school had a state of the art electronic surveillance system and yet no pictures of this kid were ever released?

    They track everything the public does . . . so what gives? I know its off the subject but if they can track our pharmacy purchases what else do they track . . . ?

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

    It is true, Michele!

    And you know about grocery store rewards cards, right? I always knew that stores use them to track your grocery purchases, but never much cared because by trading information on my buying habits, I was able to take advantage of sale items. Just remember, if your grocery store has a pharmacy, do NOT use the card for prescription purchases! Stores are NOT required to keep any of that info private. They sell your prescription info to life insurance, disability and health insurancc companies. Sure, you want the world to know if you are taking blood pressure control meds, cardiac drugs, etc...

    There is no privacy anywhere, in any aspects of our lives and anyone who thinks otherwise is dreaming...

  • Michele Travis profile image

    Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

    There is no privacy. If you even look up when you are getting a RX filled you will see the camera. Just smile.

  • lovemychris profile image

    Yes Dear 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    I don't think it's the gvt per's the military and the alphabet soup agencies...NSA, DOD, etc.

    and we know business is in on it, as Verizon, A T&T have immunity for sharing our privacy in the Patriot Act.

    Google, Facebook.....they are all doing dirty, imo.

  • arizonataylor profile image

    arizonataylor 6 years ago from Arizona

    Bigger, and far-reaching government is the problem. What government-generated database is next? 1984?

    Good hub.

  • lovemychris profile image

    Yes Dear 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    The Masons here every year offer to take pictures of your kids, store their info, etc. in case they go "missing".....I NEVER ever would hand over that info...suspicious minds we have to have now, in everything.

    Why do I keep thinking of that Sting song; "your servant is your master"?....ugh!

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 6 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    The truth is utterly insane, if it is all lies what difference does it make. How can we as a race justify any of the insanity, sometimes I fell like there is no hope for the human race.

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 6 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    I just wrote a hub called Operation Conditioning the Sheeple and was reading related hubs when i came across yours. Interesting that you seem surprised by the information gathering our Government does on its own people, I was truly unaware that many people do not know the lengths our government goes to spy on us and control us.

    Did you know that in 1995 the US Supreme Court ruled that TV News Stations were not required to tell the public the truth? No worries there, my own father a judge in his own State wasn't aware of it until I told him last year. Not surprising though was the fact that not one TV station in America reported on this story.

  • lovemychris profile image

    Yes Dear 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    I actually think the members of gvt are just as much victims of this as we are. It's not them doing it....the military...that's where it's done.

    And obviously Big those store-computers show how weird they get about a job application!

    And I swear I read an article back in 05-06, that claimed Bush gave power of the gvt over to the Pentagon...

    And we all know Eisenhower's warning...

    It's a military police state, coupled with this weird psychological scrutiny.


  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    The more I think about all of the information that is gathered about us everyday, the more I believe that we have the freedom to try to work until the day we die, have NO privacy and only the right to go along with the system or perish. Our government at this point is a joke--our elected representatives are out for themselves and we are but mice in a well-controlled and watched maze...

    Had written an article on another site a few months ago that dealt with medical information that was being gathered by prospective employers and thought that was out of line, but this is beyond the pale.

    The title is: Need A Job, Jillian? First, Tell Us The Date Of Your Last Period!

    If interested, link to the article at:

    Too much information gathered by too many people who can then use it in any way they like--We are like rats in a maze.

  • chefsref profile image

    Lee Raynor 6 years ago from Citra Florida

    Hey Jillian

    Very useful info, it was all new to me. Wish I could say this is a surprise to me but the government is busy protecting us from ourselves.

  • Laura in Denver profile image

    Laura Deibel 6 years ago from Aurora

    We lose privacy every day, it seems.

    Supposing employers knew you were taking cancer

    treating think you would get hired?

    Guess again!

  • lovemychris profile image

    Yes Dear 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    Really odd times we live in now, huh? Really odd. It's like they are profiling everybody...and for what end?

    2002 Total Information and Awareness Network.Says it all doesn't it? And they had ex STASI ad KGB agents helping them craft it. AND--when they made it a law that we all had to go digital, some people wondered if it was for purposes of spying..well, some people in Germany are suing the gvt for just that!The tv's have technology in them that allows who knows who? to see and hear what is going on in your home! And we all know the computer tracks everything....when the cops scan your license, they get EVERYTHING on much of this is due to 9/11. We allowed it to happen then.

    Here's a little test to do:You know, in the grocery stores, you can apply for a job right there on their computer? Do it! Its like a weird psychological exam. They even ask you if you think it's ok to steal from your employer! As if anyone would say they have some mechanism that knows if you're lying? It's just too creepy.

    Yes, the 4th amendment has been gutted. As has the 1st. Censorship is rampant too.

    And no, it did not start in 2009.In fact, the perps are all but forgotten.

  • Deni Edwards profile image

    Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california

    Eeks! Well, this certainly makes the case for going to Mexico to get your prescriptions filled, although it will be difficult once the Bachmann Wall is built--you know, the two wall enforcement/maze craze that's really designed to keep us in instead of others out.

    Thanks for this very informative, sucking-the-life-out-of-you hub.