prescription drug monitoring

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Ohio is among one of the hardest hit states by the opioid crisis. Yet, for five years in a row, Ohio along with every state in the U.S. has seen a continuous drop in opioid prescriptions.  Still the number of people who die from opioid overdoses continues to climb. This is all part of a national trend captured in a recent report from the American Medical Association.

How To Get Hospitals To Check A Patient's Drug History? Make It Easy.

Dec 11, 2017
Samantha Horton / Side Effects Public Media

Doctors move fast in the ER. Every second counts. That’s why Dr. Gina Huhnke is excited about a new way to quickly check her patients’ history with narcotics. She’s the emergency department director of Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville.


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An Indiana lawmaker wants the state to take the next step toward making Indiana’s drug database more effective at preventing opioid addiction.

Fourteen states currently require both physicians and pharmacists to check someone’s prescription history before dispensing certain powerful medicines, but Indiana isn’t one of them.

A year ago, Maine was one of the first states to set limits on opioid prescriptions. The goal in capping the dose of prescription painkillers a patient could get was to stem the flow of opioids that are fueling a nationwide epidemic of abuse.

Maine's law, considered the toughest in the U.S., is largely viewed as a success. But it has also been controversial — particularly among chronic pain patients who are reluctant to lose the medicine they say helps them function.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

For five years now, the Missouri legislature has considered legislation to create a prescription drug monitoring database that would allow pharmacists and physicians to look at their patient's prescription history for signs of misuse of narcotics. And for five years, Missouri pharmacists like Erica Hopkins have watched those efforts fail with disappointment.


When cracking down on opioids means tougher access for sickle cell patients

Apr 20, 2016

Growing up, as the searing pain of a sickle cell crisis would spread through her veins, Tanjila Bolden-Myers would ask her mother if this time, it would kill her.  

“I ask her now to this day, ‘Mom, how did you look me in my face and not break? Every time I asked you that?’” said Bolden-Myers, now 38. “And she was like, ‘No, baby, you’re not going to die this time. You’re not going to die.’”

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

At Richard Logan’s pharmacy in Charleston, Missouri, prescription opioid painkillers are locked away in a cabinet. Missouri law requires pharmacies to keep schedule II controlled substances—drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl with a high addiction potential—locked up at all times.

Logan doesn’t stop at what the law requires.


Pain Patients Say They Can’t Get Medicine After Crackdown On Illegal Rx Drug Trade

Aug 5, 2015
Lesley Young testified that she has driven 100 miles to try to find a pharmacy that would fill painkiller prescriptions for her husband Chris.
Jessica Palombo / KHN

The accident happened 10 years ago when Chris Young was 35. He owned a salvage yard in Maui, Hawaii, and his employee had hoisted a junker on a machine called an excavator when the hydraulics gave out. The car fell on him from above his head, smashing his spine.

“He was crushed accordion-style,” says his wife Lesley.

The accident left Young with a condition known as “partial paraplegia.” He can’t walk and he needs a wheelchair, but he does have some sensation in his legs. Unfortunately for Young, that sensation is often excruciating pain.