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The Boston Globe

Metro

Local police expand roles in drug war

Can access data on prescriptions

Local police who are investigating the illegal distribution of powerful painkillers will have access to a state database tracking prescriptions for the drugs under rules approved by health officials last week. The expansion of the Prescription Monitoring Program comes just as local departments are being asked to take on more responsibility for the drug cases.

The State Police last month closed an eight-member drug diversion unit created in 1974 to investigate illegal distribution of prescription drugs, to narrow a $3 million budget gap.

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