Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

PRESCRIPTION DATABASE IN PA. SHOULD HELP PREVENT ADDICTION, FAMILY DOCTOR SAYS Series: OVERDOSED: HOW DOCTORS WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR AN EPIDEMIC

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

PRESCRIPTION DATABASE IN PA. SHOULD HELP PREVENT ADDICTION, FAMILY DOCTOR SAYS Series: OVERDOSED: HOW DOCTORS WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR AN EPIDEMIC

Article excerpt

A long-awaited prescription monitoring database in Pennsylvania should help protect would-be addicts from themselves, a leading family doctor said Thursday.

The online system is set to be in place by Labor Day, giving clinicians an easy-access tool to check on a patient's prescription history before offering drug therapy. The idea is to prevent "doctor shopping" and the overprescribing that can drive addiction, especially to opioid painkillers.

Dr. Robert Rodak, president of the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, said at-risk patients are relatively few.

But "our hope is that if we identify [them] early, they won't go on to become addicted" to prescription narcotics, said Dr. Rodak, an osteopathic physician with UPMC in Erie. …

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