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Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Ways to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse

New recommendations for reducing prescription drug abuse and fraud in Medicare have been released by the national association representing pharmacy benefits managers. They are responsible for administering prescription drug plans for over 210 million Americans.

In a letter to Congress, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) made its recommendations. They would like lawmakers to create a select number of “safe pharmacies” in Medicare Part D, overseeing prescription benefits, The Hill reports.

The so called “safe pharmacies” would distribute controlled substances to high-risk patients. “This maintains beneficiary access to needed medications, but prevents ‘drugstore shopping,’” the letter states.

They are also calling for legislators to require drugstores and pharmacists to register with state prescription drug monitoring programs. Currently, most drugstores choose not to participate in these programs, according to PCMA.

 “While it is difficult to stop abusers from ‘doctor shopping’ for prescriptions among hundreds of thousands of prescribes, it is much easier to keep them from gaining physical custody of narcotics,” PCMA President Mark Merritt wrote.

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