I’m not sure pain patients understand the rights they’ve lost because of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). They’ve been sold as a tool to fight the opioid overdose “epidemic,” and patients appear to have swallowed this lie.
The truth is that PDMPs have had little (if any) effect. Since they’ve been put in place, the death rates keep rising, and states have begun to try different (and more damaging) ways to fight the opioid war.
Back in 2013, New York’s PDMP was praised:
How New York’s Getting More Out of Its Drug Monitoring Program
This epidemic has spurred nearly every state to create a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). In 2001, just 16 states had established a PDMP to address the problem of prescription drug abuse. Today, a PDMP exists in 49 of the 50 states.
Despite the programs’ pervasive presence, it’s not clear if they work. For example, even a 2012 report out of Brandeis University’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Center of Excellence is itself conflicted…
On the other coast, New York state recently revamped its PDMP and upgraded its IT capabilities with a new program it calls I-STOP, short for the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act.
New York has made prescription drug data available to physicians since 2010, “but the old system was underutilized,” according to Terence O’Leary, director of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement for the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
Can you see how law enforcement has invaded state departments of health?
“In fairness to the practitioners, it wasn’t the most user-friendly system.” But the state now requires the DOH to update the program to make additional data available and to get it in the right hands more efficiently.
“It’s much quicker in returning data,” O’Leary says. “We’ve reduced the number of clicks needed to get to the data.” The report is more complete, he says, and includes all of the controlled substances prescribed by each doctor… The law also allows more people, like properly trained front-office staff, to access the system… Another new feature of New York’s PDMP is that pharmacists now have access to the data as well…
It’s now 3 years later, so how is New York doing?
(June 9, 2016) ALBANY — Heroin and opioid-related deaths in New York are at a record high, with overdose deaths in the state rising faster over the past decade than in nearly all other states, a new report released Thursday found…
“It’s important to raise awareness because there are things people can do in their own homes, in their own families to really make a difference – such as when they’re offered a prescription for a narcotic pain medication, they can say no,” Burstein said…
Oh no, we’re back to “Just say no.” Nancy Reagan would be so proud.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Drug Enforcement Administration is asking a federal judge to enforce subpoenas served on Utah’s Department of Commerce seeking access to the state’s prescription drug database…
Access to the controlled substance database recently required a warrant after state lawmakers changed the rules. It followed an incident where Unified Fire Authority firefighters found their records accessed by police looking into missing medications…
If I was into conspiracy theories, I could come up with hundreds of different ways that the information in the PDMPs could be used against innocent patients…
I wonder if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in one of the PDMP databases? In most states, it wouldn’t be too hard for someone to access this information and leak it to the press. It sure would be interesting to see a list of all the drugs these candidates have taken and are taking now.
I read an internet rumor about Trump having suffered through a botched surgical procedure on his scalp, one that was apparently very painful. I say the dude’s on Vicodin.