As Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Mount, Researchers Outline Effective Approaches to Curb Epidemic

Prescription painkillers are responsible for more fatal overdoses in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined. And while most states have programs to curb abuse and addiction, a new report from Brandeis University shows that many states do not fully analyze the data they collect.

Experts from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Center of Excellence at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management systematically assessed prescription drug monitoring programs and found a patchwork of strategies and standards. Their report also outlines best practices that all U.S. states and territories can use to improve their effectiveness.

Among the study’s primary conclusions: prescription drug monitoring programs should shift from a reactive to a proactive approach.

“Being proactive is the key to success in the fight against prescription painkiller abuse,” said John L. Eadie, Director, PDMP Center of Excellence at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. “While doctors may routinely collect and report data to a state program that signals where and when prescription painkillers are likely being misused, the program might not share that information with others who can best use it.”

The press release can be accessed at: http://www.pewhealth.org/news-room/press-releases/as-prescription-painkiller-overdoses-mount-researchers-outline-effective-approaches-to-curb-epidemic-85899418402

The full report can be accessed at: http://www.pewhealth.org/reports-analysis/reports/prescription-drug-monitoring-programs-an-assessment-of-the-evidence-for-best-practices-85899418404

Source: PewTrusts.org – September 20, 2012

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