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Senators pare back prescription drug abuse plan

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland senators are seeking a limit on who would report to the state under a monitoring plan aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse.

The Senate is expected to the debate the measure Friday, which would establish the state as a data warehouse on prescriptions to help officials curb a rise in prescription drug related deaths.

Lawmakers outlined a slew of amendments Thursday which would exempt veterinarians and retirement homes from having to report their distribution of prescription painkillers — including OxyContin and other highly addictive opioids — limit access to the data collected and establish an advisory board.

Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported this year that the number of prescription-drug abusers seeking treatment in Maryland almost doubled between 2007 and 2010.