State cracks down on prescription drug abusers

By Evan Johnson - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With the number of people abusing prescription drugs increasing, 38 states have implemented some sort of monitoring program.  Louisiana is one of those states.

Former State Representative Ronnie Johns says, "Our pharmacies have always been required to keep record of every prescription filled, but there was never a way to put this information into a centralized database where all the interested parties involved could actually get their hands on this information."

Louisiana pharmacies are to report their data at least every 14 days.  The prescription monitoring program keeps track of certain controlled dangerous substances to detect illegal prescribing and dispensing.  It also identifies patients who are doctor shopping.

President of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy Carl Aron says, "When we put the program in, and this is something we're not proud of, Louisiana was on the top.  We were number one in methadone use in the country and we were number four in hydrocodone use in the country."

As of April 21st, a total of 9.2 million controlled substance prescriptions have been uploaded into the database.  1,257 dispensers and prescribers have access to the program.  The number of searches these practitioners have performed since the database has been operational total 82,699.

Aron continues by saying, "We've only got four months of information so far, but I'm just amazed at what's happening with this program."

The ultimate goal is to have a universal monitoring program across the U. S. to help fight the war on prescription drug abuse.