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ACLU Sues Over Drug Testing For Painkiller Patients

New rules requiring doctors to order drug tests before prescribing painkillers have come under legal fire. The ACLU of Indiana filed a class action lawsuit against the Indiana Medical Licensing Board Wednesday.

ACLU director Ken Falk says the measure is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.

"When the state mandates that we get a drug test, the state is mandating what under the 4th Amendment is a search. And if the state is going to search us, there has to be some cause or some extraordinary circumstances, and there are not here," Falk says.

Indiana lawmakers passed legislation last year that required the Medical Licensing Board to adopt a set of emergency rules. They’re intended to curb prescription drug abuse in Indiana.

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency spokesperson Sue Swayze says the rules are consistent with standard medical practices and pain management treatment.

"The medical licensing board received substantial public comment before adopting the rules on October 24th," Swayze says.

A spokesman with the Indiana Attorney General’s office said in a statement that the attorney general will defend "the legal authority of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board to adopt rules physicians must follow in order to protect patients from harm."

The rules took effect December 15th.

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