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NCJ Number: 157389 Find in a Library
Title: Prescription Drug Abuse: Some Considerations in Evaluating Policy Responses
Journal: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:(October-December 1991)  Pages:343-348
Author(s): B B Wilford
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines issues in policy responses to the diversion of prescription drugs from legitimate use to the sustaining of abuse and dependence.
Abstract: Although psychotherapeutics are among the most tightly regulated commodities in the world, a small but significant number are regularly diverted from legitimate use for the purpose of sustaining abuse and dependence. Concerns about such diversion have prompted renewed interest in methods to curb physicians' prescriptive authority and monitor actual prescribing practices. To manage these proposed solutions in a rational way, all interested parties must become involved in decisions about system design and oversight. Practitioners (physicians, pharmacists, and other health professionals) should have input into decisions about program structure and exception criteria. Patients must insist on appropriate safeguards of their legitimate interests in maintaining personal privacy and access to medical care. Policymakers must accurately assess the nature and severity of the diversion problem to be addressed, the resources to be allocated to the system as well as the effect of such an allocation on the State's ability to meet other service needs, and the "social algebra" of the system. The latter refers to the extent to which the system will foster undermedication of some patients as the cost of reducing overmedication of others. 16 references
Main Term(s): Illegal dispensing of licit drugs
Index Term(s): Drug Policy; Drug regulation
Note: DCC
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