Report: Pharmacies must do more to stop drug diversions

December 30, 2008

A recent report by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud suggests pharmacies and pharmacy regulators need better training and education to help prevent prescription drug diversion, particularly of controlled substance analgesics.

A recent report by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud suggests pharmacies and pharmacy regulators need better training and education to help prevent prescription drug diversion, particularly of analgesics that are controlled substances.

The report, "Prescription for Peril: How Insurance Fraud Finances Theft and Abuse of Addictive Prescription Drugs" calls on the pharmacy profession to provide additional training on prescription drug abuse and diversion in pharmacy education curricula and continuing professional education. The report also urges the industry to exert closer point-of-sale scrutiny of certain prescriptions and patients.

For example, the report suggests diversion could be reduced significantly if pharmacies asked for photo identification when prescriptions for controlled substances are presented, as they do when presented with prescriptions for pseudoephedrine-containing products.

The coalition also recommends wider adoption of prescription-monitoring programs that maintain statewide records of narcotic prescriptions, which would allow closer monitoring by prescribers and dispensers. In addition, the coalition calls on lawmakers and licensing boards to “swiftly and decisively penalize the small fraction of prescribers and dispensers who facilitate drug diversion and abuse.”