It appears that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is publicly taking the position that medical records provided to pharmacists are not private and can be obtained by the DEA without the need to show cause for the production of such records.
This position, while not specifically constituting new law, has also not received serious challenge in the Courts as of yet. Pending such a challenge the DEA continues to seek and obtain such medical records from pharmacies by way of subpoenas which require no advanced finding of probably cause.
It does appear, however, that the ACLU is preparing to step up to the plate to challenge this practice. How such a challenge shakes out in the end may have a profound impact on the privacy of individual’s medical records, unless Congress steps into the fray to either explicitly uphold the privacy of such medical records or to explicitly limit or eliminate any expectation of privacy in individual medical records.