Prescription monitoring programs: Helpful or harmful?

The crushing toll of the opioid crisis is daily news, including stories about ways to “fix” it. A wide array of initiatives has been brought forward in an attempt to curb this epidemic and the damage it causes. Prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) are one of them. The goal of PMPs is a good one — to identify patients who are being prescribed multiple medications by multiple clinicians. It is a means to introduce some stewardship for preventing overuse and misuse of prescription drugs. How prescription monitoring programs work Prescription monitoring programs are state-based electronic databases that provide a way to track prescriptions, specifically controlled substances including opioids, benzodiazepines, and amphetamines. They are intended to support access to legitimate medical use of these drugs, and to help identify and deter drug misuse and diversion (when medications are not used by the person for whom they were prescribed). Currently 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have PMPs, and in many states providers must access the PMP before prescribing a controlled substance. PMPs have had some success, with several states demonstrating an overall decrease in prescription opioid overdose after implementation. At the same time, there are several challenges hindering effective use of prescription monitoring programs, including issues of lag time, state to state variability, and important privacy concerns. These issues need to be addressed as thi...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Addiction Drugs and Supplements Health Source Type: blogs

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Source: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology - Category: Research Tags: Adv Exp Med Biol Source Type: research
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Source: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology - Category: Research Tags: Adv Exp Med Biol Source Type: research
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Source: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology - Category: Research Tags: Adv Exp Med Biol Source Type: research
OBJECTIVES: Point-of-care drug checking services, wherein individuals can check the content and purity of their drugs, have emerged as a public health intervention to address the fentanyl crisis; however, there have been no rigorous evaluations of the tech...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
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Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Commentary Source Type: news
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With all the news media accounts and reports from governmental health organizations about the opioid epidemic, including the 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, a newly emerging threat is gaining attention: use and misuse of benzodiazepines, opioid drugs and Z-drugs. Specifically, combining these three drugs can create a deadly combination that snuffs out lives. Benzodiazepine Overdose Deaths on the Rise Benzodiazepines, a class of sedative narcotic drugs including Xanax and Valium used to treat anxiety, insomnia and other disorders and classified as Schedule IV under the Controlled Substances Act by the Drug Enforcement ...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Addictions Substance Abuse Suicide Source Type: news
This past week, Governor John Kasich of Ohio issued an executive order limiting the amount of opioids doctors and dentists can prescribe to no more than a 7 day supply. Failure to comply could result in disciplinary action, including loss of license. Exceptions exist only for patients with cancer or those enrolled in hospice programs. For all the rest, it represents a hard full stop. No longer will the chronic pain sufferer, the woman status post lumbar back fusion x 3, be able to get a prescription for a month's supply of oxycodone with 3 refills.On the surface this appears to be a reasonable initiativ...
Source: Buckeye Surgeon - Category: Surgery Authors: Source Type: blogs
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Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
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