Access to medical care denied by ID requirements

Something that American citizens take for granted — picking up your medical prescription at the pharmacy. Not so if your personal ID is iffy and the state is trying to crack down on medication abuses. This case is from Mississippi.
The state began to insist on personal identification to crack down on drug abuse and by failing to educate pharmacies made life more complicated for innocent undocumented workers. Mississippi recognizes the right of work-injured undocumented workers to protections of the workers compensation system. It introduced drug procedures to help in fraud and abuse control.


Pharmacists are asked to get a unique identifier for the patient at the time a controlled substance prescription is filled, for example for pain medication. The website of the Board makes no mention of these ID requirements. The regulations posted there mention only the name and address of the patient.
Angela Stuesse of the Mississippi Poultry Workers’ Center reports that pharmacies have insisted on social security number or driver’s license. In two instances she gave her own identification to have the patients receive their medication. She called the state Board of Pharmacy. An individual told her that the ID requirement is “not voluntary, but not yet mandatory” and that other identification can suffice. The Board just hasn’t clearly told the pharmacies.
He said the Board has received such calls before and has quickly been able to remedy the situation – if the patient were at the pharmacy. She asked if there is any formal process for reporting pharmacists who are abusing/misusing the system, as in the examples I have experienced. There were none.

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