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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prescription Drug Database Funding Cuts


As the fight against prescription drug abuse in America continues some states are finding it difficult to move forward with prescription drug databases due to lack of funding. California is one of those states according to the Associated Press, where proposed budget cuts may render their new prescription drug database useless.

The number of people running the system recently has been cut from eight people to two, and no one will be left to run it in January unless more funding arises according to the article. Without any employees no one will be able to update the system, making the whole database pointless.

More than 8,000 physicians and pharmacists have signed up to use the database since it began in 2009. Law enforcement has used the database for criminal investigations. The database is also useful for determining if patients or doctors are involved in prescription drug abuse, the AP notes.

More than 100 million prescriptions have been logged into the database and four to six million new prescriptions per month are being inputted. The system has been used more than one million times for patient activity reports. Prescription drug databases are the only way this country will ever gain control of prescription drug abuse, states need to find a way to allocate more funding because in the end the abuse will cost state budgets more than the database.

The yearly cost of running the database is less than $1 million, according to the article.

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