We’ve already provided you with information about the debate concerning the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). We’ve also talked about state databases set up to monitor those with a tendency to “doctor shop”.
But, what about drug companies? Do they share some responsibilities in the addiction crisis?
The answer might surprise you.
A new law passed earlier this year deals with this issue. It is called the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.
The title is somewhat self-explanatory. There certainly is little complaint about the idea of making sure patients who need medication have access to them.
The real problem deals with drug diversion. This means that legally prescribed drugs may be passed on to someone who intends to use it illicitly.
Ironically, a great part of prescription drug abuse is related to diversion.
Pharmaceutical Companies and the Addiction Crisis
Monitoring prescription drugs should not be the sole responsibility of prescribing doctors. The pharmaceutical industry should be expected to monitor orders made by wholesalers as well.
Those most often diverted include Benzodiazepines, Opioids, Stimulants and Sleep Medications. The new law requires drug companies to report areas of suspicion to the government, more specifically the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
What kinds of data can raise eyebrows?
For one, chargeback information is of interest. That is, the return of funds to a distributor (wholesaler) from the consumer (drug company), when higher rates are set out and paid, but not justifiable.
Repeated events such as these, begin to look suspicious after a period of time.
What else points to suspicious drug orders?
Requests for unusual quantities, as well as orders that don’t fall into a customary ordering pattern. This would include orders that are placed with increased frequency.
Although we are a long way off from making things better, we are most certainly headed in the right direction. Hopefully, by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable, we can cut off some of the supply.
If we plan to see any kind of change, we will definitely need all hands on deck.
Obviously, the drug industry is not alone in contributing to the addiction crisis. It also falls in the hands of the prescribing doctors and individuals that abuse the system i.e. doctor shopping.
If you or a loved one has been affected by the addiction crisis and needs help to recover, we can certainly help.