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Judges order pharmacy board to respond to subpoena

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A Marion Superior trial court erred in granting the Indiana Board of Pharmacy’s motion to quash a defendant’s subpoena that the board produce a certified copy of “any and all” of his prescription records so he could use the information as defense for the charges of possession of a controlled substance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.  

On interlocutory appeal, the Court of Appeals found that Nicholas Williams waived any physician- or pharmacist-patient privilege outlined in Indiana Code when he requested the records from the pharmacy board. Williams was arrested and charged with possessing the controlled substances methadone and alprazolam. He originally couldn’t recall what doctors had prescribed the drugs, so he asked for the data kept in the pharmacy board’s electronic drug tracking program INSPECT RX. He later could recall the doctor names but not where he filled the prescriptions.

The Indiana Board of Pharmacy cited the confidentiality components of Indiana Code 35-48-7-11.1 to deny Williams’ request and support its motion to quash his request. The COA noted that the statute does not list the patient as someone specifically authorized to receive the information from the INSPECT RX database.

“To the extent that the confidential information in the database might also be considered privileged, by virtue of either the physician-patient privilege or the pharmacist-patient privilege, that privilege inures to the patient, not the Board (or the physician or the pharmacist, for that matter),” wrote Judge Terry Crone in Nicholas Williams v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1103-CR-266.

Williams’ request for information from the database amounts to a waiver of any privilege, so the judges found that the three-part test for discoverability – particularity, relevance or materiality and “paramount interest” – applies in this case.

His request was sufficiently particular, the request information is material to his defense, not all of the information requested would be available from his doctors, and the board failed to show a paramount interest in not disclosing the information, ruled the appellate court.

The judges remanded for further proceedings.

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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