New legislations have been enacted to counter the widespread use of prescription medications. These laws aim to prevent drug dealers and addicts from accessing anti-anxiety and opioid prescription drugs, primarily oxycodone – the active constituent in the OxyContin (opioid painkiller). When abused, Oxycodone generates a high comparable to heroin. However, for patients with acute pain, it offers relief instead of any high. Pharmacists, medical organizations, pain patients, and physician have voiced their concerns highlighting the risks of creating an overburdened system whereby doctors will shun from prescribing powerful prescription medications to prevent facing fines. On the other hand, patients in pain will have trouble in accessing their medications.

An impending shortage and increase in pain

The new legislation on prescription drugs is likely to cause a sharp decline in prescribing and results in collateral damage. Some pharmacies in the United States have already stopped carrying OxyContin and other powerful prescription medication due to fear of fines, robberies, and the hassles of addicts striving to get fake scripts filled. The direct outcome of these laws is poor access to medications.

Delayed access

The prescription drugs law allows only electronic prescriptions. Medical professionals cannot call in or message prescriptions to pharmacies. Patients will have to make several visits to the hospital since prescription can be written for a maximum of a 30-day supply. Additionally, the patients will need a new prescription for each fill, especially the hydrocodone drug. Patients will need to acquire a new prescription each time they run out, rather than getting automatic refills to last them for a particular period. Rather than obtaining their drugs from their primary care prescribers, patients may be sent to specialized pain management facilities leading to overcrowding and huge wait time for people in need of pain relievers.

Costly compliance requirements

Implementing the regulations might be a bit expensive, especially for small clinics. State-of-the-art technology is required during the process of obtaining and consolidating state license details for certified trading partners into an even and readily available database. Doctors have an obligation to comply with the DQSA/DSCA, which outlines crucial procedures of building an automated, interoperable system to find and classify certain prescription medications as they are distributed throughout the U.S. The compliance requirements are a bit complex for primary health caregivers.

Upsurge in the use of heroin and other hard drugs

Since there will be limited access to patients who genuinely need pain medication, particularly those living far from their physicians, they may turn to the abuse of heroin. The new legislations make access to drugs such heroin and morphine easier than prescription medications.

Legislation on prescription drugs at the state level is frequently changing. New bills are progressively being introduced to minimize addiction on prescription drugs. Talk with your doctor and know what to expect each time new laws are enforced.

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