Drug management programs that require at-risk individuals to use designated pharmacies or physicians for opioid prescriptions can protect patients from using harmful amounts of opioids while ensuring they still receive appropriate amounts of pain medication, according to the lead author of a new report on the programs.
Through these patient review and restriction (PRR) programs, insurers assign patients who are at risk for drug abuse to pre-designated pharmacies and prescribers to obtain these drugs. Designated medical providers can then better coordinate patient care and prevent inappropriate access to medications that are susceptible to abuse.
“Our indicators suggest these programs are protecting patients, saving lives and reducing overall healthcare costs,” said Jennifer Welch, MPH, an officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, who led a review of state Medicaid drug management programs. She spoke about her findings at the recent Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit.