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DEA Plans to Collect Nationwide Prescription Data

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has solicited bids from software contractors for a new “Pharmacy Prescription Data” system that would collect deidentified data on at least 85% of all Schedule II through V prescriptions across the US, according to a request for proposal issued September 2, 2020.

The proposed system would collect data on number of prescriptions filled, prescriber’s name, drug information, and nonspecific patient demographics (e.g., gender; age group; city, state), among other data. Prescriber information collected would include the number and percentage of out-of-state patients, the distance patients traveled, and the average morphine milligram equivalents per patient. Additional specific information is requested for pharmacies.

While much of the information to be included is already in state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases, that information is generally not available to law enforcement without a subpoena. The deidentified information in the proposed DEA database would be available for use without a subpoena, and unmasked patient information would be available with a subpoena.

Pharmacy Prescription Data Software Licenses and Maintenance Request for Proposal. Accessed November 21, 2020.