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Opioid Epidemic: Technology Helping Pharmacies to Track and Tackle

technology fight opioid overdosage

The opioid, painkillers or suppressants whose overdose can have sedative effects on parts of the brain that regulates breathing, is on the rise in America. Studies reveal that in 2016 more than 20,000 people overdosed on the synthetic opioids in the US alone. And nearly half-of-them had prescriptions for the same.

The intensity of this massive tragedy could have been reduced if the prescriptions the individuals were given were monitored better. Thanks to the advancements in healthcare and pharmaceutical technology, we now have mechanisms that pharmaceuticals can adapt to help prevent or fight the opioid epidemic.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) helps track prescriptions. PDMPs’ integration with the utilities offered by Appriss Health, Surescripts etc allows for real-time access to control substance dispensing. Prescription monitoring databases connect with the pharmacy systems to alert the pharmacists if it is too soon to reconsider the prescription. They, in turn, can alert the authorities of a fake prescription, or notify the patient’s physician on addressing the situation directly with the patient.

It is advised to use electronic prescriptions with digital certificates to mark its legitimacy to make use of the technology, however, it is not mandated, but it can greatly reduce the risks of fraudulent prescriptions. The technology goes an extra-mile recording the prescriber’s writing style and saves them in databases. These records help to alert the Department of Health if a medical provider is prescribing opioids too often.

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