Criminal Justice

Report Shows Prescription Drug Tracking Program Is Effective

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June 9, 2014—By BRANDON SMITH, IPBS—

Researchers studying the INSPECT system, which is used to track prescription drugs dispensed in Indiana, say it’s widely used and effective for monitoring patient prescription drug use.

The current version of the INSPECT system, in place since 2004, is a tool meant to help combat prescription drug abuse.

Researchers surveyed 6,000 doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists over the last two years to determine the effectiveness of the program and presented their findings at a Board of Pharmacy’s meeting today.

About 77 percent of the survey’s respondents said they know about INSPECT, and 71 percent of those use it.

Still, lead researcher Eric Wright says only about a third of providers have changed their prescribing habits in the last year.

“But of those who are changing their behavior, you’re finding that they’re going in the right direction in terms of reducing the number of controlled substances in the population,” Wright says.

There also seems to be slight disconnect over how providers view the problem.

Wright says about half of providers feel a small group – 10 percent or less – of their own patients misuse or abuse prescription drugs.

But more than 80 percent of providers say the percentage of patients in Indiana who abuse prescription drugs is more than 10 percent, and 29 percent of those say drug abuse exists in more than 40 percent of patients.

“Perhaps they’re doing a good job in managing their own patients or maybe, perhaps we need to help them do a better job of identifying individuals who might be abusing in their practice,” Wright says.

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency is implementing an awareness campaign this summer aimed at increasing use of INSPECT.

 

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