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Bill To Speed Up Drug Database To Help Curb Overdoses

Arizona has the 12th-highest drug overdose rate in the nation, according to the latest state statistics.

If we narrow the scope to people who misuse drugs, Arizona jumps to sixth in the nation.  A recent report shows a full quarter of prescribers fail to check the statewide database for drug conflicts.

Dr. Mazda Shirazi with Arizona Poison and Drug Information says until only recently, that system was extremely slow. 

“It use to be it took somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes and you had to have somebody else access it so that you could see it for your next patient that’s coming up," Shirazi said. 

House Bill 2493 will allocate half-a-million-dollars to speed up and secure the drug database, which should help hospitals, pharmacists, and doctors check and balance patients to avoid an overdose.

“Especially for primary care physicians it gives them a way to see whether they need to intervene, they need to decrease, they need to change the types of medication, or they need to cut back on them," Shirazi said.

Once updated, practitioners will be legally required to register and use the prescription database to dispense any medications in Arizona.

The bill has bipartisan support and already passed the House.  It and several other drug-abuse bills are before the full Senate this week.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.