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Letter: Drug-monitoring system is an invasion of privacy

Drug-monitoring system is an invasion of privacy

Having just read about I-STOP/PMP (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing/Prescription Monitoring Program) in New York State, I thought I would share my view on the very similar system we have in Ontario called the Ontario Narcotics Control Act. This act was implemented sneakily by our provincial government, and has made many people’s lives much more difficult than need be.

I don’t deny that there are those who abuse certain prescription drugs, and they will always be with us no matter how many bills are passed, but the government is now treating pretty much everyone as an addict through this act, and getting and renewing certain opiate painkillers has become an odyssey. If one wishes to go on vacation for a few weeks, getting the required amount of meds can be likened to going through the inquisition.

Then there are the “intervals,” which are normally 30 days, during which no listed prescription can be refilled. So if you are an elderly person who misplaces your painkillers, you’re in a bit of a bind.

However, the most abhorrent aspect of Ontario’s act, and of New York State’s act, is the blatant invasion of privacy by the state. The state has no need at all to know which legal medications any of us take, and even Ontario’s privacy commissioner agreed, but the law was passed regardless.

Scott T. Steel

Southampton, Ont.