Beginning in July, information about Islanders' prescription drugs will be collected on one computer system.

The Drug Information System was created by Deltaware Systems of Charlottetown and allows pharmacists and doctors in emergency rooms and family health centres to access a patient's prescription records.

The system will help reduce drug interactions and "double-doctoring," when a person gets more than one prescription for a drug by going to more than one doctor.

Government has been working toward this goal for several years. Legislative changes will have to be made before it's up and running.

"Due to the sensitive nature of the information within the drug information system and our requirement to protect the privacy of Islanders, my government will proclaim the pharmaceutical information act this spring," said Premier Pat Binns.

"The act ensures appropriate use and protection of all information which is collected and stored within the system," he said.

A patient will be able to get a password applied to their computerized drug information, although a health-care professional could override that password in an emergency situation.

Patients are being warned that if they don't want to give out their password to a health-care provider, they risk not getting their prescription filled.

Government plans to expand the system to include all doctors offices. It is also working toward computerizing Islanders' full medical history.

Pharmacies will be able to apply for a one-time grant of $5,000 per location to help with the costs of implementing the new system.