Tuesday, August 21, 2012

$400,000 grant to state pharmacy board will help monitor prescription drugs

A $400,000 federal grant to the Kansas Board of Pharmacy will help support the state’s program for monitoring prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in America,” Grissom said. “Two-and-a-half times more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of them using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined.”

The Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Enhancement Grant for fiscal year 2012 will aid in the operation of K-TRACS, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. Pharmacies report to K-TRACS on all the controlled substances they dispense.

The system is designed to help doctors monitor their own prescribing practices as well as their patients’ histories of using controlled substances. It can be used to identify patients who need treatment for drug problems and to monitor long term trends in public health.

It also is designed to health care prescribers, dispensers and consumers from engaging in illegal drug diversion schemes.

The grant money is to be used to enhance the prescription monitoring program by developing ways to share the information between states, as well as educating potential and current data requesters in the importance and the use of the data.

The money also may be used to support the development of criteria to identify healthcare professionals and patients whose K-TRACS data suggest they may be engaged in unsafe, inappropriate or illegal activity.