If you have followed this column, you know I am a big proponent of prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) in this country. However, I am not a proponent of a single PMP being run nationally by a federal governmental entity. Rather, I support management by individual states that establish their own laws as to who has access and how it can be used. I don’t agree with how some of them restrict law enforcement to easily access the data, but I recognize that the whole system works better when states do their own thing! [Read more…]
Staring Down the Barrel is a book unlike any I have seen on the market. It specifically addresses the concerns and problems facing everyday pharmacists as they are confronted by prescription drug diverters and armed robbers. This problem has grown over the past decade or so, and unfortunately in some cases, it has caused the death of both pharmacy employees and customers—most of whom were simply complying with the orders of the criminal. [Read more…]
The prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) throughout the country are probably the single most innovative help in years to law enforcement trying to deal with pharmaceutical diversion issues. Although some of the states’ systems are not as friendly to law enforcement access, those that are provide a wealth of easily accessible information for potential prosecutions. [Read more…]
I give a presentation that I have done for many years titled, “Drug Diversion vs. Pain Management: Finding a Balance.” It is primarily meant for health professionals who are engaged in providing pain management on some level. I talk about the necessity for health professionals to be informed about the methods of diversion and the many scams that are perpetrated against them—and how to deal with this major problem.
The other part of my program is to remind the health professionals that the majority of their patients are legitimate, and how important it is to not negatively impact these patients by seeing everybody who walks through their door as a suspect. I encourage them to use their education, training, and experience to make sound judgments when prescribing opiates. I then give examples of health professional cases that have been prosecuted, hopefully demonstrating how these offenders were grossly out of the scope of anyone’s idea of legitimate medical practice. [Read more…]
A recent 2-day conference in Ohio prompted Governor John R. Kasich to announce an agreement that had been made with the state’s major medical associations to limit prescribing of controlled substances in the emergency department (ED). These guidelines would be just that—guidelines—but they were meant to reduce the prescribing of controlled substances by ED physicians.
“We’re not giving you this stuff (painkillers) willy-nilly anymore,” said Governor Kasich during his oration to the audience and press. This agreement is part of Ohio’s push to reduce prescription drug overdose deaths, something that occurs every day to at least 4 Ohio residents who die of an unintended prescription drug overdose. [Read more…]