Tennessee law places doctors on front line of drug war

photo A pharmacy tech handles hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of Vicodin, at Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla., in this file photo.

Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog

Starting Monday, Tennessee doctors prescribing painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone and other controlled substances will be required to check their patients' prescription history in an online database before signing the prescription slip.

The new requirement -- which was signed into law last year -- is the state's latest effort to clamp down on Tennessee's prescription drug abuse epidemic.

But doctors are concerned that it will add a significant burden in an era of growing medical paperwork.

"It is going to be a great tool, but it is going to be time-consuming and it will be an added burden doctors haven't had in the past," said Rae Young Bond, director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society.