Dec 04, 2013
The other night, on my local news, they did a feature on Prescription Drug Fraud and Abuse. I found the feature extremely informative, and actually a bit shocking. I would love to know what you guys think. Please share your opinions.
As more and more Doctors Offices, Medical Clinics, Urgent Care, Hospitals, and even Dentists, go to electronic medical record keeping and data bases, it will be much more difficult to doctor shop, and soon all doctors will have access electronically, to all of you medical records. They will simply put in some sort of identification number, like your Social Security Number, and viola, there they are!
One of the major pharmacy chains, I think it was Wallgreens, has a new procedure in place for dispensing narcotic medications. If you are a new customer, or if you are attempting to fill a new prescription for narcotics, they will put a 3 day hold before they will fill the prescription. In that 3 days, they will run a criminal background check on you, call and verify the prescription with your doctor, and check a statewide data base to see any narcotic prescriptions that have been filled in the last year. They are requiring that the prescribing doctor put a diagnosis code on the prescription, so that the pharmacy knows specifically why the doctor prescribed the narcotic. Also, each individual pharmacist has the discretion to decide whether or not they will fill a narcotic prescription for that particular diagnosis. This means that a pharmacist may or may not fill the narcotic pain med for say migraines, or a sprained ankle, etc. They may chose to fill it for end of life cancer patients, or after a major surgery only, for example. In other words, the pharmacist can override the doctor.
In addition, the penalties for even first time prescription fraud crimes, are carrying stiffer penalties. Less drug counseling, and therapy, and more jail time.
I was very shocked to see this. But, I guess they are not messing around at all anymore. The regulations are getting stricter and stricter. The news report was eye opening, to say the least. I had mixed feelings about it. I don't think I like having a pharmacist having the ability to override my doctor as to what drug I may need. Also, it worries me a bit that my dentist could have access to all of my medical records. I don't need my dentist to know that I sought treatment for a yeast infection, for example. Or, that my dentist needs to know that I am seeing a psychiatrist for depression. I don't know. I support the need for stronger monitoring for drug fraud and abuse. I get that. But, I think this may be going a bit too far.
What do you guys think? I would love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks!