Ohio ready with new weapon in war on drugs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) --Ohio will begin using a new tool in its fight against prescription drug abuse.

An upgrade to the state’s prescription drug tracking system will now include scores that calculate a patient’s possible risk of overdose and addiction. The scores will act as red flags to alert prescribers of potential safety issues.

The system will be made available at no cost to Ohio healthcare providers who use the Ohio Automated RX Reporting System.

“Ohio has been a national leader in tracking the dispensing of prescription drugs to patients,” said Ohio Department of Medicaid Medical Director Dr. Mary Applegate. 

“This upgraded drug monitoring platform will offer critical information to Ohio clinicians to help them provide better and safer treatment for their patients", Applegate said.

Ohio has been strengthening its prescription drug monitoring program to give prescribers and pharmacists greater ability to prevent opiate abuse. 

As a result, doctor shopping – individuals visiting multiple prescribers to obtain controlled substances illicitly – has decreased substantially, according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy..

The Board also notes the total number of opiates dispensed to patients is down 20 percent over a four-year period. 

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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