prescription drugs

Prescription drug prices have continued to increase and the reasons are complicated.  A study committee examining causes of high drug costs heard about rebates, high deductible insurance plans and tiered drug systems as reasons why. 

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) says he supports President Donald Trump’s proposal to import low-cost prescription drugs from Canada.

IU Health Chief Medical Executive Jonathan Gottlieb says the system's approach to opioids has allowed prescribers to reassess their practices. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

Indiana health systems are seeing a reduction in opioid prescriptions in response to the state’s epidemic. 

Recent analysis studied the perceptions of participants involved in a landmark study that found – for chronic pain – opioids may not be more effective than other pain medication like ibuprofen.  

National pharmacy chain CVS announced Thursday it will install drug disposal boxes at 49 of its stores around Indiana. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

National pharmacy chain CVS announced Thursday it will install drug disposal boxes at 49 of its stores around Indiana.

The units will allow Hoosiers to get rid of unneeded and unused prescription drugs.

New Program Provides Opioid Education For Doctors

Apr 3, 2018
(U.S. Marine Corps)
Lauren Chapman

The Indiana State Medical Association and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation announced the first statewide program to teach physicians best practices for prescribing opioids.  

State law now requires prescribers to receive opioid prescription training every two years.  The Indiana State Medical Association will develop an app to help them do this.

INSPECT Integration Aims To Better Track Opiates

Aug 24, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced an effort to rein in the number of opioid prescriptions given out in the state. Indiana is the eighth highest prescribing state in the country.

The new initiative will integrate the state’s online prescription tracking program with health care systems across Indiana.

Indiana Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says the improvement can aid in prevention.

“We have to stop the problem at its source really, to stop addicts before they become addicts,” Houchin says.

freestocks.org / https://www.flickr.com/photos/freestocks/

Update: Governor Mike Pence, on September 22nd, has directed the PLA to move forward on the following initiative, which was introduced at the Governor's Task Force on Drug Enforement, Treatment and Prevention Tuesday afternoon.

For nearly two decades, Indiana medical professionals have provided information about the drugs they dispense to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database, called INSPECT. But health officials are hoping to soon make it easier for doctors to use.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / www.cdc.gov

Indiana has received about $3.3 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help reduce opioid overdose deaths.

The state says some of the money will be used to upgrade its drug monitoring program, which tracks prescription opioids dispensed across Indiana. The funding will also be used to evaluate and improve how doctors prescribe the drugs.

According to data from a few years ago, Indiana ranks 15th in the country for its overdose rate, and each year, doctors write more opioid prescriptions than there are people in the state.

Felicito Rustique, Jr. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/rustique/4771313441

Legislation that would allow people to get prescriptions without an in-person exam or visit from a health care provider is headed to the Senate.  But some lawmakers aren’t comfortable taking steps forward in “telemedicine” services.

Telemedicine is health care provided remotely through, for instance, videoconferencing.  The proposed bill would allow doctors, physician assistants or advanced practice nurses to write some prescriptions for a patient without seeing them in person. 

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