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Dispute over drug database records in appeals court

May 29, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A dispute over whether New Hampshire should produce records related to its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to the Drug Enforcement Agency without a warrant has reached an appeals court.

Last year, the DEA subpoenaed information from Michelle Ricco Jonas, who oversees New Hampshire’s database allowing health care workers to search a patient’s prescription patterns. It sought an individual’s records. The state refused, saying the DEA needed a warrant.

The U.S. Justice Department sued the state and a judge in November ordered the state to produce the documents. The state appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Wednesday, the national ACLU and chapters in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the state’s challenge.

Similar cases are pending in other states.