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Friday, August 26, 2011

Four State Prescription Drug Task Force

As the battle against the prescription drug epidemic wages on some states are finding that they cannot fight this fight alone. There are simply too many variables to counter, because, let’s face it: a state can make it harder for people to get prescribed prescription drugs theoretically lowering the number of pills that hit the street, but, what will stop people from bringing in pills from the state next door? The answer to that question may be what four states have already decided to do; Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia created the Interstate Prescription Drug Task Force to fight the region’s prescription drug abuse problem.

30 experts from drug agencies and law enforcement make up the task force, according to The Courier-Journal. Fortunately, all four of the states have already set up electronic drug monitoring systems to collect information on who receives and prescribes certain medications, according to the article.

The task force’s success will depend in large part on sharing drug information through these programs, according to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. “Kentucky isn’t an island. We have to attack this problem on a nationwide basis and work with other states to share information if we hope to turn around the prescription drug problem,” he said in a news release.

The federal government is pushing for prescription drug databases in every state as part of their five year plan to cut prescription painkiller abuse by 15 percent in the next five years. The only way to lower abuse and keep more people out of the E.R. is if states start working together on this epidemic, every household in America should be cognizant of the danger that prescription drugs pose.

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