SB 345 creates a Prescription Database where pharmacists are required to report to the state certain prescription drugs prescribed to Arkansans.  The state Board of Pharmacy decides what data to report, and the state Department of Health trolls the database for patterns that may indicate illegal or unethical activity by druggists, patients and doctors.  The state can also share this sensitive medical information with others without suspicion of criminal activity or wrongdoing, a warrant, or even notice to or consent from the medical providers or patients.

  • SB 345 would keep track of prescriptions like: Codeine, often used in cough syrups, Ritalin, for treating ADHD in children, Oxycodone, a very common pain medication.
  • SB 345 may cause doctors to hesitate in giving patients an adequate amount of medicine to relieve chronic pain for fear of being investigated (e.g., cancer patients). Chronic pain is already under treated.
  • SB 345 sets no criteria for evaluating the information collected.
  • SB 345 puts patient confidentiality at risk by allowing patient records to be shared with: the AR State Medical Board, the AR State Board of Pharmacy, the AR State Board of Nursing, and the Department of Human Services, other physicians and pharmacies, law enforcement officers and prosecutors (without a warrant), and other states, without regard to their handling of the private information.

The SB 345 Prescription Database Would Violate Arkansans' Constitutional Rights

  • SB 345 gives the state the right to collect and search information for evidence of crimes. Allowing law enforcement access to the data without individualized suspicion supporting a search warrant violates the Fourth Amendment rights of Arkansas citizens and medical professionals.
  • SB 345 violates citizens' constitutional rights to privacy in their medical information. PATIENTS WANT THEIR PRESCRIPTION RECORDS PRIVATE, because prescriptions contain extraordinarily sensitive information about mental health, diseases that carry social stigma, and other highly personal treatment options and conditions. Pharmacists will be required by law to submit information about patients which is unlimited in scope, and may be kept and shared forever. This sweeping collection and disclosure of information is not narrowly tailored to meet any expressed compelling government interest, and therefore violates patients' rights to privacy.

SB 345 Leaves Arkansans Without A Remedy For Violations Of Privacy:

Leaking information about your erectile dysfunction by mistake is not punishable by law. The ONLY way it is a crime to breach a patient's medical confidentiality is if someone knowingly discloses the information in an unauthorized manner.  Unless you can prove malice, criminal intent, gross negligence, reckless or willful conduct, everyone using this system is immune from liability! SB 345 has:

  • No assurance that prescriptions will be filled without delay if the network or report is not working;
  • No remedies or processes for patients to address errors in their records;
  • No notice to patients that their information is shared and disclosed;
  • No right to file a civil claim and no civil penalties against those who wrongfully disclose information;
  • No safeguards that the information will be shared for legitimate purposes only;
  • No notice to patients that their information has been requested;
  • No right to know who has requested and received information;
  • No restrictions on the use of information by or for commercial vendors and purposes.

SB 345 opens a vast opportunity for the state to invade Arkansans' medical privacy without clear purpose or standards to ensure the information collected is useful or secure.


GOVERNOR: Tel. (501) 682-2345, Fax (501) 682-3597

SENATE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE:  Chair Percy Malone (bill sponsor), Vice Chair Randy LavertyBill Pritchard, Jack Crumbly, Cecile Bledsoe, David Burnett, Missy Irvin, Jonathan Dismang