Rhode Island and Connecticut are now able to share prescription drug data across state lines. Linking the states’ prescription drug monitoring programs is designed to help doctors spot possible abuse and addiction.
Rhode Island doctors and others who prescribe potentially addictive drugs like OxyContin or Vicodin can check a database before handing out that prescription to see if their patient might have a problem with the drug. One way to spot a problem is to find out whether a patient has obtained the same drugs from different doctors or pharmacies, a practice called “doctor shopping.”
Until recently, if a patient doctor-shopped across state lines, the information wouldn’t show up in Rhode Island. Now, prescribers in Rhode Island and Connecticut will have a more complete picture on each side of the border.
Rhode Island health department officials have said that’s important since more than a 100,000 individuals filled prescriptions for controlled substances like these – in September alone.
181 people have died so far this year from apparent accidental drug overdoses, some of them involving prescription opioids, according to state health officials.
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