An innovative new scheme, spearheaded by the government, will attempt to tackle the growing number of people misusing and abusing prescription drugs like OxyNEO. The new scheme will take extra measures to ensure that all data is accurately collected by not only pharmacies, but also doctors. Under this revamp of the patient data collection system, it is thought that a more efficient approach to the digitizing of patient data to national records will greatly improve doctor/patient relations. Overdoses from prescribed medication are now the number one cause of avoidable fatalities in the United States. These numbers even exceed those from accidents such car crashes, and illegal substance abuse. Prescription drug abuse is considered especially troubling as it is also the leading form of substance abuse among teens. According to The Partnership for a Drug Free America, teens are often not concerned about the potential risks involved with consuming prescription medications on a regular basis, with as many as 2 in 5 claiming that drugs prescribed by a doctor are inherently less risky than street drugs.
Many U.S states already take part in programs which aim to collect information about patients prescription habits, however, this data is often unusable as it is typically unavailable to most practitioners for at least 30 days. A top director in Indiana who has previous experience with collecting patient information insists that his program is working very hard to ensure data is available to doctors as soon as possible. Sherry Green, the executive for a leading drug law program has also insisted that something must be done to ensure practitioners have faster access to this data. The new variation of the scheme, which will pilot in Indiana and Ohio, will be taking statistical analysis measures in the state of Ohio in an attempt to understand a pattern to prescription abuse. Texas recently launched a program that will make patient
data available within 7 days.
Under the improved scheme, experts believe that having faster access to medical data will equip doctors with adequate patient history, which in turn could save many lives. By merging prescription data with electronic government records, medical professionals hope that a better standard of care will be afforded to those who need it most.