Safeguards in prescribing painkillers and high-risk drugs pushed
Mar 28, 2016 02:36 AM EDT
The prescription of painkillers and other high-risk drugs is set to undergo a new process. The nation's top health officials are now urging doctors to log into a pill-tracking database before giving any drug.
Other physicians, however, are seeing this process as an additional work on them. This process is the way of the Obama administration to lower the epidemic abuse and deaths related to opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin.
Gary Mendell, CEO of Shatterproof which lobbies state capitals to be stricter in their standards in prescribing addictive drugs, has been helping the government's effort to put an end to this problem. The group has been funding this multi-million campaign in order to combat addiction as per ABC News.
According to the group, the new system will let physician's view the database and look for suspicious patterns in using the drug. This system will stop patients or drug pushers from collecting prescriptions for their own benefit. But as of the moment, doctors are not yet required to place information on the database.
The Whitehouse has already sent 50 letters to US governors requiring physicians in their area to check the database and require a pharmacist to upload dispensed drugs on a regular basis. Michael Botticelli, director of the National Drug Control Policy, said the database is already a proven tool in reducing the misuse of prescription drugs.
As reported by Fortune, the Food and Drug administration is also improving warning labels requirements for many addictive drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet. This move will be a part of the fight against America's painkiller and heroin epidemic.
But according to Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC, there isn't a single state in the country that has an optimal drug monitoring program that works in real time. Physicians said that using these programs can be slow and difficult to use.
According to The World, director Robert Califf of the FDA said they recognize that the abuse deterrent technology is still evolving. He added that they are strongly encouraging these innovations in order to increase the access to information on any abuse of opioid medications which he sees as an important element of the strategy.
Shatterproof, on the other hand, has forced the state of Massachusetts and Wisconsin to make the database checking system into a law. They are now targeting California and Maryland next. They said in a statement that they cannot wait for decades to implement the new law and that they need to take actions immediately.