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THE BULL AND THE BIZARRE
Rush for a Legit Prescription
Is this an issue of medication or privacy?

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
July 2, 2006

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on late night TV and not hear another Rush Limbaugh prescription joke, the talk show host was detained at Florida airport for possessing a prescription drug without a proper prescription.
 
After flying back to the US on his private jet after time in the Dominican Republic, Limbaugh was detained for possessing the drug Viagra without a prescription. Current law states that anyone flying into the United States with a prescription drug must carry the drug in a labeled bottled where the name "match(es) the name on the travel document".
 
The Transportation Security Administration doesn't require labeled bottles when a passenger is flying domestically but they do encourage labeled medications.
 
As for Rush, his lawyer said that Limbaugh's Viagra was issued to the physician in order to protect the talk show host's privacy. As stupid as it may sound, I'm sure his last battle with prescription drugs has Rush a little jumpy when dealing with any prescription. Especially a drug that has been the focus of many – a – joke.
 
Now, I am not sure whether it was the talk show host's bum luck to be searched to that detail or if Rush is walking around with a target on his back, but the issue seems to be a little ridiculous to me. IN a survey of travelers at airports around the country, USA Today found that most people don't travel with prescription drugs in the original container. One traveler gave the response, which is also my practice, "I always dump them all in a big ol' Ziploc …".
 
For Rush, this detention may be more than just a three hour nuisance. Two months ago, he struck a deal on the previous charge of prescription fraud dealing with back pain killers. Part of the deal was that Limbaugh needed to continue treatment and acted as, in his own words, " a model-citizen". This detention could foul that up.
 
There is a part of me that thinks this search is a little overboard. Would the search ever have taken place if Rush had been traveling overseas with the President on Air Force One? And what about the rest of us? Does a US citizen traveling lose all of their rights to privacy when re-entering the country? Is it anyone's business besides the patient and the physician what prescription is being taken? If you do travel, why should you have to disclose, by way of the "proper container", that you are taking anti-depressants or a pill for erectile-dysfunction or both? Is the security side of government even focused in the right direction? Should we be looking for WMD or PMD's (prescriptions from a medical doctor)?
 
This week we are scheduled to celebrate the independence of our country. Maybe we should do this without forgetting the issues of privacy.
 



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