Opioid abuse is a heartbreaking reality in modern America. It is all too common today to know someone that has been personally affected in one way or another by the Opioid Epidemic. This past Monday, September 17th, the Senate responded by voting the Opioid Crisis Response Act through in a 99-1 victory, fueling the progress made by the House of Representatives’ opioid package that passed less than 3 months ago. With unanimity from both the House and Senate, the signing of a law to crack down on abuse, including a national electronic prescribing mandate for opioids, appears to be imminent.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 116 American lives were lost every day in 2016 from opioid-related overdoses. Forty percent of these overdoses were a result of prescription opioid abuse. While many have gone numb to the ongoing news of a rapidly exploding epidemic, our leaders have worked toward a solution. Through closer monitoring of controlled medications via prescription monitoring programs, stricter drug enforcement at our borders, continuing education for providers on pain management alternatives, and the use of electronic prescribing, we can take control of this growing issue threatening our national health.
The benefits of e-prescribing are easy to see. In an environment where opioid prescriptions cannot be filled if they are written on paper, prescription fraud will become nearly impossible. The DEA has provided pharmacists with a guide toward spotting fraudulent prescriptions spanning from overly neat handwriting, to improper use of abbreviations, to photocopied papers. Even with pharmacists being aware of common fraudulent efforts, as long as paper prescriptions are accepted there is only so much that can be done to regulate this fraud. By limiting prescribing access to licensed providers only and eliminating prescription pads, opioid distribution can be controlled.
The recent legislation passed can give us all hope that we are moving in the direction of combating opioid abuse in America. Let RXNT help you. To learn more about how RXNT|e-prescribing has helped thousands of prescribers switch to electronic prescribing, call us at 800-943-7968 option 3 or email us at s[email protected].