New tracking system may stunt prescription drug abuse
  • Fri, 07/27/2012 - 12:49pm

Yesterday, we told you about a group of doctors petitioning the FDA for stronger labels on potentially addictive prescription drugs. Today, we learned that a southeastern Ohio health system has developed a $1.5 million patient tracking system to decrease abuse of painkillers.

CrossChx is a company that uses physical material like fingerprints to keep tabs on patients in the tracking system. Holzer Health Systems in Gallipolis, Ohio, announced yesterday that it will collaborate with  the company and has already begun gathering fingerprints from patients who require emergency care.

The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services reported that “an average of 67 opiate painkiller doses are being prescribed for every man, woman and child in the state if the total number of doses were divided by the state's population. As a result, four Ohio residents die each day from an overdose, with opiates accounting for two-thirds of those deaths.” The agency also stated that youths and young adults account for a booming population of addicts.

The growing problem of prescription drug addiction, particularly of narcotic painkillers, is in need of a solution that the CrossChx-Holzer tracking system has the potential to solve.

"We are excited about the potential of this new technology to help reduce prescription drug abuse, doctor shopping and sales of medications for the purposes of abuse," Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, told the Chillicothe Gazette.

Holzer board chairman Brent Sanders told the media that the new tracking system will be able to identify addicts prowling for painkiller prescriptions and it will benefit law enforcement efforts by analyzing demographic and behavioral patterns.

According to Chillicothe Gazette, Holzer and CrossChx are supplying $900,000 toward the new tracking system, and the state is supplying another $500,000.



About the Contributor

Kaitlin Gill
I report on news regarding product safety concerns for individuals and families.

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