Because of the growing problem of addiction, misuse, and diversion, 49 states have now adopted a state prescription drug database. You may have read an article recently in The New York Times about Missouri being the only state that has not adopted such a database. In New York, as a prescriber of controlled substances, each time a patient is prescribed any type of controlled substance, I must log into the NYS website to confirm that a patient is not receiving other medications from other doctors.
I found a few patients who had not been honest with me and had received medications from other doctors. Unfortunately, the small occurrence of dishonest behavior has obliged all doctors to be alert for the possible misuse of medication. At the Norman Marcus Pain Institute, I implement several rules for patients receiving any type of controlled substance from me. Here are a few of them:
• Only one physician can prescribe all pain medications.
• Only one pharmacy should be used to obtain all pain related medications.
• All medications, including herbal remedies and over the counter medications, need to be reported since all medications can interact with one another.
• Medications must be kept in a safe and secure place, such as a locked cabinet or safe.
Following these simple rules will help protect my patients and their families from improper use of pain medication.
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