Why Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Should be Mandatory

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are crucial and necessary for preventing and reducing the prescription drug addiction problem that our nation is faced with. In light of the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has grown and evolved over the last two decades, creating effective, universal, and mandatory strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse is a new priority.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs offer excellent service and help to states in reducing the drug problem. A Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is essentially a database, a constantly updated network one could say, that keeps close tabs of all patients who are prescribed prescription drugs that carry a risk for addiction. What’s more, these programs are fully state-funded, no-cost, and any medical practitioner can make use of them and benefit their practice with them. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are a boon to the medical field.

How Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Work

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are now available in forty-nine of fifty U.S. states, creating the opportunity for doctors, nurses, dentists, cosmetic surgeons, pain clinicians, and any other professional individual who has the power to prescribe painkillers to check the database. When such experts run a patient’s name through the database (or log the person in if they are a new patient) the medical expert can verify who that patient has gone to for medical help, which doctors they have gotten painkillers from in the past, and whether or not the patient in front of them is just trying to get painkillers for an addiction (or for resale if the “patient” is really just a drug dealer in disguise).

The immense benefit that Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs provide is that they alert a medical practitioner if the patient in their office at that time is actually just an addict looking to score some pills. When Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are utilized, the immense benefit that such programs offer is that they literally prevent addicts from convincing doctors to give them pills. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are the best innovation conceived yet in reducing the prescription drug addiction epidemic that our nation is currently struggling with.

Here is the problem though.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are available in forty-nine of fifty states, yet these programs are not mandatory. Yes, that’s right. Doctors can opt-in to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs at no charge if they choose to do so, but they do not have to opt for the use of these databases.

This is ridiculous, and a total underutilization of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. These programs are voluntary, but they should be mandatory.

Why Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Need to be Mandatory

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are a wealth of information and a huge benefit to doctors who want to make sure that they are not unknowingly servicing an addict with a prescription to a drug that could literally kill them. In reality, just the fact that a doctor would not want to utilize Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs is suspicious enough in and of itself.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs should be mandatory, in all states, at all times. When states implement Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and make it that much easier for doctors to vet their patients to ensure that their patients are not pill addicts in disguise, doctors are able to do their part in reducing prescription drug abuse in their area.

When doctors do not utilize Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, they are actually contributing to the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Such doctors might also be contributing to the deaths of addicts, as the prescription they write for addict “patients” could furnish that “patient” with the pills that could lead to their fatal overdose. We can’t leave out any possibility here, and there certainly have been enough prescription drug overdose deaths to indicate that this is exactly what has been happening.

When doctors choose to forgo implementation of the available Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for their state, it throws suspicion on that doctor that the doctor is just in it for the money when it comes to prescription drugs. Some corrupt doctors profit immensely off of their addicted patients, as doctors make considerable profits when they prescribe prescription drugs.

This is why we need to implement Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs in a mandatory fashion into all medical practice. Not only will it actually be effective in reducing prescription drug abuse (as it has already proven to be effective in that regard) but it will also serve to keep doctors straight and true. We want straight and true doctors at all times, and we want desperately for the prescription drug abuse epidemic to end already.

Sources:

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/data-visualizations/2018/when-are-prescribers-required-to-use-prescription-drug-monitoring-programs

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465450/

Mandated Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Should be a Priority

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