Many states have passed laws requiring prescribers of narcotic substances to check an online system to see if any given patient has already obtained prescriptions to narcotics in the past. In many states, these systems are up and running and some are even integrated into the EMR. Many consumer advocates have weighed in against such systems, stating that it creates an antagonistic atmosphere between provider and patient, where the provider is essentially trying to "catch the patient in a lie." Advocates have stated that it "blacklists" patients from getting needed pain medication to treat their ailments after being on chronic opioid therapy and creates bias against them. Others state that it is better for the provider to know what substances a patient has been on to treat them correctly. In treating addiction, what is the role of checking such systems and looking into patient backgrounds when they are readily presenting themselves for addiction management? Do these systems create bias against the patient?
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