On Tuesday the Senate Health Policy committee took up Proposed Committee bill 7016 which seeks to overhaul safety provisions related to the State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database and provide a recurring funding source for the program.  The bill places further restrictions on persons who may access the database, including local and national background checks and provides for criminal penalties for failing to report to the database.  The bill also requires law enforcement to obtain a court order before they are given access to the database after thousands of people’s private medical information was released to the public during a criminal case last year.  Law enforcement is currently opposed to such a requirement indicating that it will add unnecessary delays and costs to the detection of illegal prescription drug trade and possession.  A much less controversial provision of the bill would allow the Department of Health to receive up to $500,000 from the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund to cover costs of the program.  The PCB passed by 7-2 vote and has been filed as SB862; it has not been given committee assignments yet and has no House companion.