Photo ID Now Required for Prescription Narcotics

Mar 2, 2012

The State Bureau of Investigation’s Donnie Varnell says that out-of-state drug dealers drive to North Carolina to get their fraudulent prescriptions filled. That’s because North Carolina hasn’t required them to show a photo ID.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that under Senate law 474, pharmacies must now check ID for prescription narcotics like codeine. Varnell says that prescription narcotics are the number one drug problem across the state and nation.

People can use IDs like their driver’s license or passport, and pharmacies must keep those records on file for three years.

Tom Old is an assistant district attorney who handles drug cases in New Hanover and Pender counties. He says that this new law will help track down prescription drug dealers by simplifying a once laborious process.

“It requires in many cases that they go to doctors’ offices and get statements from the doctor that he didn’t prescribe certain things. Documenting who picked up these prescriptions and when is sometimes a difficulty because pharmacies don’t always keep their videotapes and their records of who picks them up.”

Old says that prescription pills don’t have the same stigma as illicit street drugs, but they’re just as destructive.

“Most of these prescription narcotics are maybe one or two molecules different than the heroin that’s being sold on the street. We look at them and it’s a clean little white pill, but they’re narcotics. They’re addictive and sometimes more addictive than what people are buying on the street.”

According to Old, some pharmacies have already been requiring photo ID in an effort to curb drug dealers from picking up fraudulent prescriptions.

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