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Pilot Programs Aim to Make Prescription Monitoring Databases Easier to Use

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The federal government has launched two pilot programs designed to make prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) easier for doctors to use, American Medical News reports.

The Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) hopes the programs will increase the number of physicians who use the databases. The initiative is part of a larger effort to decrease the problem of prescription drug abuse.

In 49 states, prescription drug monitoring programs have been approved, and 43 have a system that is currently operating, the article notes. Currently, most states do not require doctors to use the databases. Starting in 2013, at least five states will require doctors to check the database each time they prescribe a controlled substance, or if the patient meets certain criteria, such as suspected drug abuse.

Many doctors say using the database disrupts their workflow. Most of the databases are not integrated with patients’ electronic health records, and require a separate, secure log-in.

The ONC pilot programs, which are being conducted in Indiana and Ohio, allow physicians to have one access point for all of their patients’ information. They will not need to log into a separate system. ONC will compare the number of times doctors access the databases before and after the pilot programs begin.

In a news release issued when the programs were announced this summer, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, “We hope these innovative pilots will help usher in an era of ‘PDMPs 2.0’ across the nation to improve real time data sharing among, increase interoperability of data among states, and expand the number of people using these important tools.”

2 Responses to this article

  1. Mkitty / September 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Ps pharmacists jobs are to fill prescriptions not to prescribe them or to determine who should take them. It is not their right to judge people and they often get it all wrong anyways. They assume anyone is abusing their prescription if it is a controlled substance. I’ve been treated the worst by pharmacists. It is also not the right of an insurance company to diagnose a person or tell them what meds to take. This is only perpetuating an already bad stigma, and its not fair to label someone who really doesn’t apply.

  2. Avatar of Mkitty
    Mkitty / September 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    This is ridiculous! There is enough monitoring already especially with the state insurance. I have a hard enough time getting my Subatex due to ridiculous policies and ave ended up sick quite a few times due to their mistakes. I think that we need to use common sense and also not make it harder for those people like me who are not the “norm”. Why is it a few bad apple have to screw it up for the rest of us. I am so tired of watching people get destroyed by the system the government is saying will help us. My best friend is in jail for trying to help someone overdosing, while she was clean. I have been going in circles in the system since I was 14 and am now 27 and still stuck on buprenorphrine. It is only getting increasingly harder to obtain it and get off of it. (buprenorphine) It’s honestly easier to get street drugs than to get my prescription and one day I hope I don’t get tired of fighting the same system that’s supposed to be helping me. Also I’d like to point out that labeling someone an addict is wrong and also believing that an ” addict” can not receive pain meds after getting surgery or for legitimate reasons is plain discrimination and torture. It’s only pushing them to use drugs, duh. I don’t believe in labeling addicts because for me, I’m really diagnosed with other issues and the addiction is a side affect of said disorders and becoming addicted to buprenorphrine from doctors. Please educate people about reality and stop the ridiculous laws that are “pretending” to help human beings!

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