Risks and Responsibilities of the Prescription Drug Epidemic for U.S. Hospitals
Memphis, TN – Comprehensive Pharmacy Services (CPS), the nation’s leader in hospital and health system pharmacy solutions, has published The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic: Risks and Responsibilities for U.S. Hospitals. The white paper delivers critical guidance for hospital leadership to address the problem of prescription drug diversion in U.S. hospitals in order to reduce risks to healthcare facilities and their patients.
“The abuse of prescription drugs, especially opioids, has reached an epidemic in our country,” said Rod Recor, Chief Strategy Officer for CPS. “Hospitals are under increased pressure to reduce risk to patients and the general public by aggressively addressing diversion of prescription drugs within their healthcare facilities.”
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that an average of 103,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and healthcare aides were abusing or dependent on prescription drugs every year.[i] Medical workers with prescription drug abuse issues pose a significant threat to the public and to themselves.
“Medical professionals and hospital staff diverting medications can become a liability to the hospital and to themselves and create the potential for criminal and civil consequences,” said Marvin Finnefrock, Division President of Clinical and Purchasing Services for CPS. “Everyone at this point is familiar with the $2.3 million settlement Massachusetts General Hospital was hit with for non-compliance over the hospital’s drug supply, and no one wants that to happen to their hospital.[ii]”
The CPS white paper states that every healthcare facility must have a comprehensive diversion detection program in place, and spells out specific steps that hospital leaders should take to create such a program. Though the problem of drug diversion is at a crisis point, hospitals with proper controls in place can dramatically reduce their risk for putting patients in harm’s way and incurring financial penalties.
About Comprehensive Pharmacy Services
Founded 45 years ago and employing over 2,000 pharmacy professionals, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pharmacy support services to more than 600 hospitals and healthcare facilities pharmacies. CPS helps hospital pharmacists tackle complex problems such as medication reconciliation, hyper-inflated drug costs, standardization, centralized distribution, retail pharmacies, compliance, 340B programs and much more, leading to increased quality, reduced admissions and lower costs. For more information, visit http://www.cpspharm.com.
[i] Eisler, Peter. “Doctors, medical staff on drugs put patients at risk.” USA Today April 17, 2014. usatoday.com http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/15/doctors-addicted-drugs-health-care-diversion/7588401/ Accessed June 23, 2016.
[ii] Anderson, Travis. “Mass. General to pay $2.3 million over drug thefts.” The Boston Globe September 28, 2015. bostonglobe.com. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/09/28/mass-general-agrees-pay-million-settlement-federal-government-over-drug-thefts/NNgyVznhbmJnRuc3W2dYOK/story.html Accessed June 23, 2016.