Alabama
12:50 pm
Fri March 12, 2004

State Senate Passes Bill, Then Adjourns

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Senate gave its approval yesterday to an effort aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs.
Lawmakers voted in favor of creating a statewide database would keep track of all prescriptions of controlled substances. Senators say that would help investigators find doctors who over-prescribe drugs to individual patients and those who go doctor-shopping to get medications from more than one physician.
The new database would be funded by a 300-thousand-dollar federal grant. The system would be maintained by a ten-dollar annual license fee for various medical professionals.
The prescription drug database bill was the only measure passed yesterday by the Senate ... which adjourned for the weekend after a 90-minute work day.
One reason given for the early exit is that some senators have been spending a lot of working on a bipartisan committee dealing with accountability and budget issues. Some others apparently wanted to get to the SEC men's basketball tournament in Atlanta. The Auburn Tigers played at noon yesterday in the first round of the tournament. Senator Ted Little says some senators wanted to break early to make the trip.
Auburn lost that game to Georgia. Meanwhile, Alabama defeated Tennessee, and heads to a second round game against Florida at 8:45 tonight.