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User Registry May Help Docs Stem Painkiller Abuse
Date:4/10/2008

ugs to the patients who truly need them, we need to have a uniform approach for all patients."

Under the policy used in the study, a registry of all patients receiving opioid prescriptions and their prescribing clinic physicians was established. Doctors in the offices were then trained on using the state of Ohio's online prescription database to see whether a patient attempted to get prescriptions for the same drug from several physicians or pharmacies.

Clinic staff began screening patients from the moment they called for an appointment, making them aware that monitoring was routine before they could receive opioid prescriptions. The patients, and also the doctors, were required to sign an agreement listing the standard steps required for patients seeking opioids and what types of behaviors or actions would result in the patient not receiving the meds or even being barred from the office (e.g., being abusive to staff).

Finally, the clinic implemented annual and random urine screening for all patients requiring opioids for non-cancer pain. This allowed them to monitor for illegal drugs and the unexpected use of other prescribed medications that could have dangerous interaction with the prescribed opioids.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about prescription drug abuse and addiction.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, April 10, 2008


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