New prescription drug monitoring program - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

New prescription drug monitoring program

New prescription drug monitoring program

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        The state Department of Health and Human Services rolled out a new prescription drug monitoring program, they hope it will help reduce opioid related deaths across the state.

        The opioid epidemic is having a devastating effect across the county and Nebraska is no exception.

        The number of overdose deaths across the state has nearly doubled in the past decade.

        The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services hopes to reduce those deaths with a new program.

        "The Nebraska prescription drug monitoring program is a data collection system. It's a tool for medical providers to access information about the patients medication history," said Ashley Newmyer and epidemiologist for Nebraska State Department of Health and Human Services. 

        Every pharmacy across the state is now legally required to report all dispensed prescription drugs to the monitoring program's online system.

        If a patient has been given a high dose of opioids in the past month the physician will be notified.

        "It's a patient alert the users would see when they log on to view a patient profile and it signifies that that patient has met or exceeded a morphine milligram equivalent level, which puts them at higher risk of experiencing a drug overdose," said Amy Reynoldson a drug overdose prevention specialist for NE DHHS. 

        The goal is to monitor those who might be at a higher risk for developing addiction and avoid a potential overdose, it also prevents patients from going to multiple doctors to get the same prescription as physicians will be able to see what the patient has previously been prescribed.

        While the program aims to reduce opioid related incidents it also hopes to improve the state's overall health.

        "The primary purpose of this program is to improve patient safety in the state of Nebraska, not only to improve substance abuse issues and potential overdose issues but also just public health in general," Newmyer said. 

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