Published on October 24th, 2014 | by Day Trader
Why Pharmacies Can’t Eradicate Prescription Drug Abuse Alone
Prescription drug abuse is no joke. It’s a very serious and widespread epidemic in the U.S., despite the fact that recreational prescription drug us and abuse is considered illegal. Pharmacies often do the best they can to monitor their patients’ prescriptions, but even the best pharmacy POS systems aren’t capable of monitoring legal drug use on their own.
Many insurance companies and government agencies also assist in monitoring prescription drugs, and this is certainly a big help. But even with the most secure and detailed pharmacy software monitoring tools, a lot of prescription drugs fall through the cracks and into the hands of the wrong people. In fact, there are some pretty surprising statistics about recreational prescription drug use in the U.S.:
75%: The percentage of worldwide prescription drug consumption that occurs in the U.S. alone. To put this number in perspective: Americans only make up about 5% of the world’s population.
8.76 million: The number of Americans in 2010 who abused prescription drugs, just in that one year alone. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are painkillers, tranquilizers, and stimulants. Readers will probably note that these three drug categories are prescribed quite often — so it makes sense that people would abuse these drugs fairly often, simply because they’re so easy to access.
70.8%: The percentage of prescription drug abusers who obtained the drugs from a friend or relative, either by paying for the drugs, stealing them, or bring given the drugs for free. Very few people obtain prescription drugs (for recreational use) from drug dealers or sketchy online services; the majority of abused drugs are obtained from legal prescriptions. It isn’t really surprising that controlling drug abuse would be so difficult, considering this fact.
Pharmacies aren’t entirely responsible for controlling prescription drug abuse, and it’s unreasonable to expect pharmacy software to monitor each patient’s prescriptions perfectly. But prescription drug abuse is clearly a big problem in the U.S., and eradicating this problem is going to require a team effort. If pharmacies and government agencies can stay organized and work together, this issue is something that can certainly be resolved. Read more.