Clinicians should request a report of a patient’s medication history from the state’s PDMP before prescribing controlled substances. PDMPs track controlled substances prescribed by authorized practitioners and dispensed by pharmacies. PDMPs assist in patient care, provide early-warning signs of drug epidemics, and help to detecting drug diversion and insurance fraud.
West Virginia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the Controlled Substance Automated Prescription Program (CSAPP), was established in 1995 by the State Board of Pharmacy for the monitoring of Schedule II–IV Controlled Substances. The goal of CSAPP is to provide prescribers and dispensers with access to information that will help them make better prescribing decisions and positively impact West Virginia’s drug problem. Furthermore, CSAPP can help to identify patients who may benefit from a substance abuse referral (CSAPP, 2018).
If a healthcare professional suspects that drug diversion has occurred, he or she must document the suspicion and make a report to the following agencies:
Local law enforcement and local fraud alert networks
Other resources for information and assistance are listed at the end of this course.
Combating prescription drug abuse necessitates the proper disposal of unused, unneeded, or expired medications. Patients must have a secure and convenient way to dispose of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Agency has strict regulations for drug take-back programs, including National Prescription Drug Take Back Days. Healthcare providers should encourage patients to use such take-back disposal services when available.
The 14th National Take Back Day, which took place October 28, 2017, collected 912,305 pounds (456 tons) of prescription drugs nationwide. In West Virginia 5,473 pounds of prescription drugs were collected (DEA, 2018).