Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs

Date:
September 4, 2012
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
A centralized prescription network providing real-time information to pharmacists in British Columbia, Canada, resulted in dramatic reductions in inappropriate prescriptions for opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines, widely used and potentially addictive drugs.

A centralized prescription network providing real-time information to pharmacists in British Columbia, Canada, resulted in dramatic reductions in inappropriate prescriptions for opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines, widely used and potentially addictive drugs.

Related Articles


The findings are reported in a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The study found that PharmaNet, a real-time prescription system implemented in BC pharmacies in July 1995, reduced potentially inappropriate prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines in two groups of patients -- those on social assistance and seniors. The reductions ranged from about one-third (33%) to one-half (49%) depending on the drug and patient group.

"Our study demonstrates that a system like PharmaNet can help reduce the potentially inappropriate prescribing of medications that are prone to misuse," said lead author Colin Dormuth of the Therapeutics Initiative at the University of British Columbia. "In the five-year period of our study, the reduction in inappropriate refills was dramatic and sustained after the implementation of PharmaNet."

The PharmaNet system allows BC pharmacists to view the most recent 14 months of a patient's medication use regardless of which physician prescribed the drugs or which pharmacy dispensed them. The system enables pharmacists to identify potentially harmful drug interactions, accidental duplications in therapy or potential prescription drug misuse.

Researchers tracked "potentially inappropriate" prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines in BC, defined as a second prescription for the same drug issued by a different doctor and a different pharmacy within 7 days of a previous prescription for at least 30 tablets.

Benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics are prescription medications that are prone to misuse and addiction in some patients. Benzodiazepines include sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs such as diazepam, lorazepam and others, whereas opioids are taken for pain relief and include morphine, codeine, oxycodone and other drugs.

Most provinces have now adopted either a system allowing the pharmacist to view a patient's up-to-date medication history at the time of dispensing a medication or a real-time monitoring program specifically aimed at monitoring prescription drugs prone to misuse. Ontario adopted the latter approach in establishing its Narcotics Monitoring System earlier this year.

"Centralized drug information systems and monitoring programs are critical to help ensure these medications are used appropriately," observes coauthor David Juurlink, Head of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a scientist at the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

The study covered the period from Jan. 1, 1993 to Dec. 31, 1997 -- the 5-year period flanking the program's implementation. Because comprehensive data was available for people aged 65 years and over and patients receiving social assistance, the study focused on these two groups of patients.

The study was co-funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a 5-year renewable grant from the BC Ministry of Health. The research was conducted by the Canadian Drug Safety and Effectiveness Research Network -- an interprovincial collaboration of drug safety researchers in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Colin R. Dormuth, Tarita A. Miller, Anjie Huang, Muhammad M. Mamdani, David N. Juurlink. Effect of a centralized prescription network on inappropriate prescriptions for opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines. CMAJ, 2012; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.120465

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904121432.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2012, September 4). PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904121432.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904121432.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins