Health Officials: State's Drug Database to Hit Milestone

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's prescription drug monitoring program is expected to reach a milestone this year.

The state Department of Health Professions says the state's drug database is expected to receive more than 1 million requests for information in 2013. It would be the first time annual queries have exceeded 1 million since the system was launched in 2003.

About 30 percent of health care providers in Virginia use the database to check patients' prescription drug records to determine whether they are abusing the system.

Sherry Green with the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws tells The Roanoke Times ( ) that Virginia's participation rate is higher than in many other states. It's also somewhat distorted because some health care providers with access to the database might not be prescribing medications.