Opioid Crisis Survey: 20% of Patients Face Trouble Obtaining Controlled Substance Prescriptions
How clinicians and prescription drug management programs have the power to prevent future addiction without compromising care for patients with chronic pain
ROCKVILLE, MD – April 30, 2019 – According to a DrFirst sponsored survey, 48% of consumers have been prescribed an opioid-based medication in the last five years, and, nearly two-thirds of those individuals have obtained multiple prescriptions within that timeframe. Nearly 20% of patients reported experiencing difficulty in obtaining a prescription for an opioid-based medication within that time frame, and half of the consumers who had trouble getting a prescription cited their doctor’s hesitation to prescribe opioids.
“Many patients have a legitimate need for opioid-based medications, which is one reason it is essential to empower clinicians with tools that ensure the safe prescribing of appropriate therapies,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “DrFirst is committed to providing physicians and pharmacists greater transparency into patients’ prescribing histories so they can more confidently treat patients for pain, while still quickly identifying patients who may be at risk of abuse or addiction.”
Patients Support Prescription Monitoring Programs
Many states require physicians and pharmacists to consult a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) before prescribing or dispensing controlled substances, allowing clinicians to spot patients who may be misusing prescription opioids and are at risk for overdose. However, providers often ignore this requirement because workflows are typically inefficient and time-consuming. Interestingly, the DrFirst survey shows that 76% of consumers favor utilization of PDMPs and 68% of them support the use of PDMPs even if it slows clinicians down.
“The opioid crisis continues to devastate communities across the nation, but it is within the healthcare community’s power to solve this problem,” said Deemer. “With PDMPs, clinicians can more confidently and safely prescribe clinically-appropriate therapies. At the same time, physicians and pharmacists are better-equipped to identify the potential fraud, waste, and abuse that is often associated with prescription drugs.”
Promoting Clinically-Appropriate Prescribing
PDMPs can provide clinicians reassurance that a patient has no signs of drug-seeking behaviors, giving providers more confidence to prescribe and dispense pain-relieving medications when appropriate.
“Though many physicians and pharmacists would like to consult a patient’s prescription drug history before writing a prescription, many prescribing solutions make the process overly difficult and time-consuming, failing to provide fundamental components such as complete data, in-workflow decision support, and analytics,” Deemer said. “To help clinicians make safe and clinically-appropriate prescribing decisions that address the needs of patients with chronic pain, we have developed a solution that makes consulting PDMPs as seamless and convenient as possible by enabling PDMP access through in-workflow prescribing tools.”
DrFirst is connected to over 300 EHRs and provides streamlined access to PDMPs in all available states, Washington DC, Guam and Puerto Rico. Prescribers can initiate patient queries from within the e-prescribing workflow and thus avoid the need to log into a PDMP from a separate browser. Once physician credentials are validated in the state’s PDMP, prescription records are returned directly and automatically into their Electronic Health Record. The controlled substances prescription and dispensed information collected in these state-specific databases is used to inform safer prescribing, support drug education efforts, research drug addiction and prevent substance use disorder.
Respondents to the random, online survey of 199 U.S. consumers were 34 percent male and 66 percent female. The largest age group represented was between 25 and 34 years old (31%), followed by 45-54 (28%) and greater than 54 (19%).
DrFirst, the nation’s leading provider of e-prescribing, price transparency, and medication management solutions, enables stakeholders across the healthcare industry to use comprehensive real-time data and connectivity to increase their patient safety ratings, efficiency, and profitability. Today, more than 220,000 healthcare professionals, 75,000 prescribers, and hundreds of electronic health record (EHR) vendors depend on DrFirst’s innovative software solutions to improve clinical workflows, expedite secure collaboration across a patient’s care team and drive better health outcomes. The company’s integrated technologies include its award-winning electronic prescribing platform, the most comprehensive medication history available, clinically specialized secure messaging, and patient medication adherence monitoring and benefits checking. Also, DrFirst was the first to offer e-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) and is considered the industry standard for providers nationwide. For more information, please visit www.drfirst.com or connect with us @DrFirst.
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