Tri-state providers learn about new tool in fight against opioid - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tri-state providers learn about new tool in fight against opioid addiction

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Dubuque-area prescribers and pharmacies learned about a new tool in the fight against opioids this week.

More than 120 people participated in seminars over the past couple of days, centered around the prescription monitoring program.

The main goal of this program is to prevent people from doctor or pharmacy shopping.

"A patient may go from doctor to doctor to doctor to get a prescription, then they go to different pharmacies because they feel like they can hide their tracks by going to multiple providers and multiple pharmacies. So when you look at the prescription monitoring program, you can actually see all the places they've gone to get the prescriptions and all the places they've gone to fill the prescriptions," said Randy McDonough, a pharmacy owner.

According to a report from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, the number of doctors and pharmacies enrolled in this program has increased every year since 2010.

They've also seen decreases in the amount of people who doctor and pharmacy shop in five of the last six years.

"This program, again, if we're using our due diligence and truly evaluating a patient every time they come in, you  might be able to identify a patient early on that might be starting on that path, where they feel like they need a medication and they feel like they have to go to another doctor or to another pharmacy to fill it, so using this tool, we can hopefully go upstream and identify the patient before they become a problem patient," McDonough said.

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