Chains Implementing Tech to Help Track Opioid Misuse

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics November 2019
Volume 163
Issue 11

Patients at-risk for substance abuse more easily identified and managed.

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Rite Aid is the latest pharmacy chain to utilize Appriss Health’s NarxCare platform to more efficiently identify manage patients at risk for controlled substance abuse and misuse.

NarxCare equips pharmacists with advanced analytics, tools, technology, and invaluable insights that are presented and accessed directly within Rite Aid's pharmacy management system, according to a statement. NarxCare also provides machine learning and artificial intelligence-based patient risk analysis in a visually interactive format to support pharmacists' dispensing decisions and state law compliance.

Rite Aid has already implemented NarxCare, which analyzes and presents information from state PDMPs, in 12 states, the retailer says in a statement.

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Walmart also began using NarxCare last year, NPR reports, soon after it announced restrictions on filling opioid prescriptions. In addition, NarxCare reports are in use at more than 35,000 pharmacy locations across the US.

Appriss Health also has NarxCare agreements in place with 20 states and with the Boards of Pharmacy in the 43 states as their prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) technology provider via its AWARxE platform.

"NarxCare is another efficient and effective solution to help our pharmacists make responsible dispensing decisions, while mitigating possible controlled substance misuse or abuse," says Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president, Pharmacy and Retail Operations at Rite Aid. "The integration of NarxCare and PDMP information into our pharmacist's workflow empowers them to focus more on building relationships with patients and improving health and wellness across the communities they serve."

While pharmacists have access to PDMP information, it can be difficult to navigate and analyze, Rite Aid says. NarxCare helps pharmacists “identify potential problems up front, in real-time, for every customer, every time they consider a controlled substance dispensation,” Rite Aid says.

“Pharmacists also have the support they need to better engage with their customers and determine the best course of action for them, while fulfilling their corresponding responsibility to ensure all controlled substances are filled for a legitimate medical purpose pursuant to a valid prescription within the scope of the prescriber's practice,” Rite Aid adds.

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“NarxCare encourages pharmacies to utilize their PDMP, even when not required by legislation, and enables pharmacists to perform clinical evaluations that may otherwise be impractical to perform, in some instances,” David Griffin, vice president of marketing and communications for Appriss Health, tells Drug Topics.

In July, Appriss Health also partnered with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) to integrate PMP information into the electronic health record systems of all prescribers and pharmacy management systems for all pharmacies in Texas with its PMP Gateway solution. In addition, Appriss said TSBP it will make available the NarxCare platform, “designed to deliver additional clinical content to help identify patients at risk of an opioid overdose.”

Prior to this integration initiative, prescribers had to log in to separate systems to query patient information, “which took important time away from patient care,” Appriss Health says.

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