Minnesota to crack down on prescription drug abuse

MINNEAPOLIS The state of Minnesota is joining 33 other states to track prescription drug abuse through a dragnet database, according to reports.

Through the new Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program, pharmacies are required to report data on addictive drugs, including painkillers and barbiturates.The state database — funded by a $400,000 federal grant — is expected to track more than a million prescriptions a year.

By late March, doctors, dentists and pharmacists will be able to tap into the system to identify patients who get too many habit-forming medicines.