ACLU asks feds to investigate state drug database

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The Palm Beach Post political blog reports the American Civil Liberty Union of Florida is seeking a federal probe into a breach of the state’s drug database.

The ACLU asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to examine the state’s prescription drug database after the leaking of medication histories of 3,300 patients to lawyers in a narcotics sting last month. The civil rights group blames different groups for violating Floridians’ privacy, including the state Department of Health, the U.S. DEA; the office of R.J. Larizza, state attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit; in addition to  other entities and individuals.

The DOH manages the “E-FORCSE” (Electronic Florida On-Line Registry of Controlled Substances Evaluation Program) database, where the ACLU claims is the source of the privacy data. The most notable aspect of the claim, according to ACLU lawyer Maria Kayanan, is that law enforcement has “too much freedom” when searching through the database. She maintains there in s no accountability for its misuse and abuse.

Attorney General Pam Bondi maintains the database contributed declines in prescription drug overdoses and a sharp drop in “doctor shopping.” Gov. Rick Scott initially opposed the program, citing privacy concerns, but then gave in and signed off on $500,000 in state funds for the E-FORCSE database.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.