We’ve previously noted on this page that the abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opiates like Oxycontin, has become a greater public health threat than the abuse of illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, and represents the primary reason the number of overdose deaths has been rising year after year.
A bill pending in the state House of Representatives would establish the Pennsylvania Accountability Monitoring System. It would establish a database that would alert pharmacists when a patient has already received the allotment of drugs containing opiates that they need. Gene Vittone, the Washington County district attorney, has praised the pending legislation as a potentially important tool that can be deployed in the battle against prescription drug abuse.
It would also lift a burden off the back of pharmacists in this area and around the state. As Canonsburg pharmacist Gerald O’Hare said in a March 2 article in the Observer-Reporter, “We spend half our day trying to be detective.” O’Hare also pointed out that he doesn’t have that problem in Ohio, because the Buckeye State has a centralized system in place.
The Pennsylvania Accountability Monitoring System deserves broad support from both legislators and the public.