America’s prescription medicine addiction and drug overdose: Part II

More Americans now die every year from drug overdose than they do in motor vehicle crashes and the majority of that drug overdose cases fuelled from prescription medicine misuse. Educating health professionals is key in addressing this prescription drug overdose epidemic. Arguable, early interventions by primary care providers have proven effective in reducing or eliminating substance abuse in people who misuse prescription medicine. In addition, educating healthcare providers about prescription medicine misuse will promote awareness of this growing problem among prescribers so they will not over-prescribe the medication necessary to treat minor conditions. In this video, KCTS 9 and Investigate West report on the alarming increase in prescription-drug overdose as a result of abuse in Washington State caused by overprescribing, the lack of regulation or treatment options, and how this epidemic is affecting teenagers, seniors and middle-class families. You can watch the video here. In tackling the issue of overprescribing and prescription drug overdose, the urgent call for prescribing doctors in America to use prescription drug monitoring programs, which are state-run databases that track prescriptions for painkillers and can help to address the issue of overprescribing. There remains no commitment from the Federal Government in implementing a nationwide real time prescription-monitoring tool to prevent more prescription drug overdose. This is an urgent health epidemic to address and MediSecure is proud to have launched Australia’s first Real Time Prescription Monitoring tool, which allows prescribing doctors to monitor both Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 prescription medicines, particularly those most vulnerable to misuse. For more information, please visit...

America’s prescription medicine epidemic

In October last year, the Obama Administration announces public and private effort to address the country’s prescription medicine epidemic. The number of prescrip­tions filled for opioid pain relievers—some of the most powerful medications available—has increased dramatically in recent years. From 1997 to 2007, the milligram per person use of prescription opioids in the U.S. increased from 74 milligrams to 369 milligrams, an increase of 402 percent. (source) With statistics like these, there is no doubt that America is experiencing a prescription medicine epidemic. Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medications in 2012 – enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. (source) The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will invest $8.5 million on the development of tools and resources to help inform prescribers about appropriate opioid prescribing and to track data on prescribing trends in ensuring clinical quality improvement measures and programs on opioid prescribing are in place. In America, forty-three states have authorised prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to try and tackle the prescription medicine epidemic. These programs are established by state legislation and are paid for by a combination of state and Federal funds. The implementation of such monitoring tools allows prescribing doctors to detect and prevent the diversion and misuse of prescription medicine at the point of care. This provides early warning of prescription medicine misuse and/or addiction, ability to assist in patient care by providing treatment, as well as to prevent fatalities linked to prescription medicine overdose. Similar efforts need to be taken in Australia to better support and inform prescribing doctors to achieve better healthcare delivery....

Fighting Prescription Medicine Abuse in New York with Technology!

In New York, drug overdose deaths relating to pharmaceuticals and prescription medicine abuse have risen 56 per cent since 1999. These harrowing figures were reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They also reported that overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers are four times greater than the number of heron and cocaine deaths combined. This highlights the alarming shift in prescription medicine abuse from illicit drug use. Unfortunately, there is a similar trend emerging in Australia. This increases the need for the urgent implementation of a real time prescription monitoring system, such as MediSecure’s DrShop tool to fight prescription medicine abuse. In New York, e-prescribing software DrFirst, has proven to provide substantial benefits to doctors and patients. This piece of technology has been recognised as one of the most effective ways to reduce prescription medicine abuse and so-called “doctor shopping.” DrFirst offers solutions that inform the doctor-patient point of care, providing the health professional access to patient information in ensuring care delivery. The effect has been a tangible improvement in the rate of prescription medicine abuse.   The development of MediSecure’s real time prescription monitoring, DrShop, is driven by similar reasons in improving patient health outcomes through innovation and security. Register for DrShop...

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