Monday, November 28, 2011

the best thing since sliced bread

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating... It is the greatest invention since sliced bread. The state prescription drug monitoring program. All pharmacies in the state are required to report dispensing of any controlled drugs to this registry. It can then be accessed by any physician or pharmacist. We use it a lot in our ER.

When someone comes in with chronic pain requesting narcotics, it is almost always used. The information is always interesting. I had a patient who was prescribed 360 Vicodin tablets at one time. I kid you not. That is the kind of ridiculousness that goes on in this country. Then we wonder why we have a prescription drug problem.

This information allows a doc to directly confront a drug seeking patient with how many scripts they have received over the last couple of months and from how many doctors. I mean what can a drug seeker say? Its right there in black and white.

I wish all docs used it. If they saw in print the prescription drug problem perhaps they would rethink their own prescribing habits. Cause guess what? At the core of this prescription drug addiction epidemic is the doctor. Its time for them to take a good look in the mirror.


dr lasermed said...

The state board of pharmacy (as we call it here) is awesome. Our only problem is that we are close too two other states, so we miss those who travel 20 to 30 miles to fill their prescriptions. A national database would be AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

For me ... any toothache or backache complaint on the screen prompts me to consult the database ... unfortuntely it is not "real time" and the lag can be as much as 4 weeks ... the "bears" are aware of this and mooch around quickly and then move to another hospital system like they are on a rodeo circuit. And there are the border hoppers taking advantage of it too ... a national database would be best solution.

girlvet said...

Yeah I recently learned about the lag time. I'm not sure how a national data base would work, considering the number of prescriptions that are written yearly in this country. It would be impossible to track. The system would crash. This is about we as a society and doctors as a group, taking a hard look at ourselves and addressing overprescribing.