RI panel to study prescription drug abuse

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new task force in Rhode Island is set to consider whether the state should track certain medications to prevent prescription drug abuse.

The commission is set to meet for the first time on Monday at the Statehouse.

It was created by lawmakers earlier this year to study concerns that certain prescription drugs — especially controlled substances — are being overprescribed to people who abuse them.

The commission will be led by Rep. William O’Brien, a North Providence Democrat. It also includes state health officials, physicians and a community mental health expert.

Members are expected to look at whether the state should create an electronic registry for certain drug prescriptions so doctors and pharmacists can see if a patient may be overusing the drugs.

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