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Emergency Physicians must balance under-treatment of pain with concerns about drug diversion and doctor shopping. Use of a state PDMP may help identify patients who are at high risk for prescription opioid diversion or doctor shopping… To quantify the effects of PDMPs, studies were conducted of ED providers who cared for adult patients with pain. Of the patients with complete data in one study, information from the state’s PDMP System altered prescribing practice in 41%. Knowledge of the information provided had an important impact.
The CDC advises providers to use PDMPs… States should consider ways to increase their use … available real-time, and alerts to prescribers.
A study was conducted to estimate the societal costs of prescription opioid abuse, dependence, and misuse in the United States. Costs were grouped into three categories: health care, workplace, and criminal justice.
The results: Total US societal costs of prescription opioid abuse were estimated at $55.7 billion in 2007 (USD in 2009). Workplace costs accounted for $25.6 billion, health care costs accounted for $25.0 billion, and criminal justice costs accounted for $5.1 billion. Workplace costs were driven by lost earnings from premature death ($11.2 billion) and reduced compensation/lost employment ($7.9 billion).
Conclusions: The costs of prescription opioid abuse represent a substantial and growing economic burden for the society. The increasing prevalence of abuse suggests an even greater societal burden in the future.
The use of PDMPs…is helping to reduce misuse of prescription drugs.
Thirteen multi-state PDMP projects were sponsored in 2012-13. While providers indicated that PDMPs gave them more confidence for prescribing pain medication, the study concluded that the easier the data is to obtain, the more they will be used, and the safer the practice can be.
You’re not only reducing the supply [of pain medications] for those who use them inappropriately, but also for those in need.
Always check the medical record… and a prescription drug monitoring database.
An improved PDMP … with accurate and timely data analysis should be regarded as the cornerstone of our collective efforts to address prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are now active in most states to assist clinicians in identifying potential controlled drug misuse, diversion, or excessive prescribing. Little is still known about the ways in which they are incorporated into workflow and clinical decision making, what barriers continue to exist, and how clinicians are sharing PDMP results with their patients.
Qualitative data were collected through online focus groups and telephone interviews.
Clinicians from pain management, emergency and family medicine, psychiatry/behavioral health, rehabilitation medicine, internal medicine and dentistry participated.
Thirty-five clinicians from nine states participated.
We conducted two online focus groups and seven telephone interviews. A multidisciplinary team then used a grounded theory approach coupled with an immersion–crystallization strategy for identifying key themes in the resulting transcripts.
Some participants, mainly from pain clinics, reported checking the PDMP with every patient, every time. Others checked only for new patients, for new opioid prescriptions, or for patients for whom they suspected abuse. Participants described varied approaches to sharing PDMP information with patients, including openly discussing potential addiction or safety concerns, avoiding discussion altogether, and approaching discussion confrontationally. Participants described patient anger or denial as a common response and noted the role of patient satisfaction surveys as an influence on prescribing.
Routines for accessing PDMP data and how clinicians respond to it vary widely. As PDMP use becomes more widespread, it will be important to understand what approaches are most effective for identifying and addressing unsafe medication use.
Prescribing or dispensing to an abuser, diverter, misuser or ‘doctor shopper’ puts the provider, their practice and or institution, as well as the patients at high risk.
Although relieving pain and reducing suffering are primary emergency physician responsibilities, there is a concurrent duty to limit the personal and societal harm that can result from prescription drug misuse and abuse.