Appeals court opens RX database to defendant’s subpoena

A woman charged with possession of a controlled substance who claimed she had a prescription may seek information from the state prescription database, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a reversal.

The panel on interlocutory appeal reversed a court order quashing a subpoena Angela Lundy sought to serve on the Indiana Board of Pharmacy for her prescription records in the INSPECT RX database.

A Marion Superior trial court granted the state’s motion to quash because Lundy had not made a showing that she could not get her prescription records elsewhere before she was entitled to an INSPECT report.

“The Board argues that because Lundy knew where she could ‘possibly’ obtain her prescription records, they were readily available. ‘Readily available,’ however, does not equate to knowledge. That is, just because Lundy knew where she could ‘possibly’ obtain her prescription records does not mean that they were 'readily available' to her,” Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote for the panel. “(W)e conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the Board’s motion to quash Lundy's subpoena.”

The state argued that the records were confidential pursuant to statute, which Vaidik wrote, “Notably, the patient is not listed as a person who is authorized to receive information from the INSPECT database.”

As in Williams v. State, 959 N.E.2d 360, 363 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), however, Lundy had waived confidentiality by requesting the information, and she was entitled to her INSPECT report, the COA held. The panel also ruled that the particularity of her request should be administered to maximize pretrial discovery.

“As for the Board’s concern that such a holding ‘would significantly alter the function and purpose of the INSPECT program’ by transforming it into a ‘clearing house for any criminal defendant charged with a possession crime to obtain his or her prescription records,’ … we note that the Board’s attorney stated at the hearing that the Board already requires a low threshold before it will turn over an INSPECT report: ‘And just as I’ve said before, a really low bar of ‘I simply don’t recall’ I think satisfies and my client would comply [by turning over the INSPECT report].

“Accordingly, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the Board’s motion to quash Lundy’s subpoena. We therefore reverse and remand this case to the trial court.”

The case is Angela Lundy v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1405-CR-307.

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