Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would require doctors to use prescription drug monitoring programs before they prescribe painkillers. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act is co-sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Angus King of Maine.
Minnesota is one of the states in which doctors’ participation in prescription drug monitoring is voluntary. At a news conference Tuesday, Klobuchar said if such programs are not mandatory, some doctors who excessively prescribe opioids can go undetected, theStar Tribune reported.
Full story of Senate bill for doctors to use prescription drug monitoring programs at drugfree.org
Many pharmacists are not using monitoring systems designed to reduce prescription drug abuse, a study of Maine pharmacists suggests. The study found only 56 percent of those surveyed used their state system.
Most states have prescription drug monitoring systems, which are electronic databases that track prescriptions for controlled substances, including opioids. Health care providers can check the database to identify potential cases of prescription drug misuse.
“We have resources to help tackle the opioid epidemic, but we’re underusing them,” said researcher Stephanie Nichols of the Husson University School of Pharmacy, in Bangor, Maine.
Full story of Pharmacists not using prescription drug monitoring programs at drugfree.org