Archives for category: Prescription drugs

The US Drug Czar launched a plan yesterday to counter the growing levels of abuse of prescription medication. The Harm Reduction Coalition criticized the plan for not including harm reduction strategies such as making naloxone more widely available to prevent overdoses. I want to write something more insightful and analytical than this, but I had a wisdom tooth removed yesterday and now I’m totally whacked out on Vicodin and can barely think straight. Seriously, this stuff is awesome.

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I know very little about the use and abuse of prescription medicines, and most of what I know I learnt from House or Justified. But the issue’s a hot one in Florida right now. Basically, from what I can tell, the new Tea Party supported Governor is scrapping the state’s Office of Drug Control. This will impact on Florida’s implementation of a prescription monitoring program.

Prescription monitoring programs, which have been implemented in about 38 states, are believed to make it harder to over-prescribe pain medicines and also easier to reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions that occur as a result of prescribing something to a patient that will react to another medication they’re taking. The monitoring programs are good because pharmacists across the state are able to access all the information about any patient’s prescriptions, in near to real time. They are also bad because pharmacists are able to access all the information about any patient’s prescriptions, in near to real time. Other states are up in arms, because Florida is apparently the source for most of the pills sold illegally in the rest of the country- Interstate 75 is now known as the Oxy Express. However the effectiveness of these prescription-monitoring programs is contested.

While the ‘freedom-loving’ Tea Party governor thinks it would be bad to monitor sales of prescription drugs, he’s all for drug-testing of state employees. And recipients of welfare. And, by the way, but entirely unrelated I’m sure, he also owns a company that does drug-testing.