One of the best tools in the fight against opioid abuse is an effective prescription drug monitoring program. Simply put the Monitoring Program is a database where doctors report that a patient has received an opiate based drug, or some other controlled substance, so that other doctors can check this database to prevent “doctor shopping”. Doctor shopping is when a patient goes to multiple doctors for the same injury to get multiple prescriptions. The database acts as a control so that a doctor can see what the patient is already receiving for medication, so that the second doctor would not give another unnecessary prescription.
The first state in nation to vote was one of the last to institute this basic method to fight against opioid abuse. California created theirs in 1939. Many states have created one since then. Now, New Hampshire has one, and it’s a complete and total mess.
The 226-page report released Friday says the systems necessary for an effective prescription drug monitoring program were either “misoriented, poorly structured or altogether absent.”
The report goes on to say that the three-year-old program failed to collect and utilize the data it gathered, it didn’t enforce participation by providers, and it never outlined how to spot or address so-called “doctor shopping,” which was one of the main reasons the program was created. Source
This should be one of the easiest things to implement considering the amount emulation opportunities out there. New Hampshire needs to step it up if they want to stay ahead on the fight to prevent Opioid abuse.