Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

State News

June 13, 2014

Prescription monitoring program is tool for reducing controlled substance misuse

In 2012, the Harold Rogers grant program and the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency funded a study to look at the effectiveness of INSPECT (Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection & Tracking Program) and the impact it was making to reduce prescription drug abuse. Today, the findings of that study were presented to the Board of Pharmacy by Dr. Eric R. Wright, the principal researcher for the INSPECT study.

From the nearly 6,000 doctors, pharmacists, dentists, physician assistants and other professionals who can prescribe and dispense controlled substances, the survey found INSPECT is widely known and used by prescribers, and the program is an effective tool for monitoring patient prescriptions and for reducing controlled substance misuse and diversion.

“Medical professionals recognize the benefits of the INSPECT program and that this tool is helpful in prescribing controlled substances to patients,” said Nicholas Rhoad, Executive Director of the IPLA. “By having more information at their disposal about patients prescription drug history, doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare providers can more accurately address the health and wellness needs of their patients.”

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

• A majority of the survey respondents were medical doctors (37.4 percent) with pharmacists being the next highest profession (26.9 percent).

• The average time spent practicing by respondents in their primary fields was 18.9 years.

• 85 percent of the survey respondents had heard of INSPECT, of which, 70.7 percent used the program.

• The biggest barrier for respondents using the system was a lack of time; almost 40 percent of the respondents said there were no barriers to using the system.

• In the past 12 months, 35.7 percent of respondents have changed their prescribing habits with 91.6 percent of these people prescribing “fewer” or “far fewer” controlled substances.

INSPECT was the main reason for prescribing fewer controlled substances over half of the time.

“Indiana is at the cutting edge for their efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion,” said Dr. Wright. “INSPECT gives prescribers and dispensers another tool to accurately diagnose Hoosier needs, and the survey recognizes that medical professionals are beginning to prescribe less controlled substances as a result.”

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