The painkiller problem in the country is still at epidemic levels, but more people are at least aware of the problem and trying to do something about it. One example includes what might be considered a fairly bold step of the CVS pharmacy chain, as it revoked dispensing privileges from dozens of doctors throughout the country.
Pharmacies have started to be under more scrutiny recently, as evidenced by a $75 million fine issued to CVS a few years ago and a fine of $80 given to Walgreens more recently. In addition, In the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) revoked the licenses to dispense controlled substances for two CVS pharmacies in Florida last year for excessive amounts of oxycodone.
CVS Chief Medical Officer Troyen detailed steps the company took in the New England Journal of Medicine, which included examining the total numbers of prescriptions written for certain painkillers and cross-referencing them with applicable sets of factors. The result was shocking, in some cases, as one doctor was found to have written prescriptions for more than 40,000 doses of a drug that only averaged much less than 1,000.
“This isn’t a definitive solution to the problem,” said Brennan. “We wanted to share what it was that we did and have other people in healthcare, including other pharmacies, look at what we did and discuss what some more comprehensive solutions might be.”
In the battle to curb prescription drug abuse, there are many people and organizations who have roles or responsibilities. These include the people using the drugs, the doctors prescribing them and the pharmacies dispensing them, among many others. When people begin abusing drugs, there are intervention specialists and treatment centers to help. If you would like more information about successful intervention practices and rehabilitation programs, contact Family First today.