Medical Board Task Force Drafting Guidance To Curb Overprescribing
A Medical Board of California task force is in the process of drafting new guidelines aimed at curbing the misuse and overprescribing of prescription medications by providers in the state, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
According to the Journal, about seven million U.S. residents misused prescription medications in 2012 -- more than the number of individuals using cocaine and heroin combined.
In addition, the number of individuals misusing such medications has increased by 80% over the past six years.
Following a state Legislature hearing in March 2013 on prescription drug misuse, the Medical Board created a task force to identify physicians who overprescribe such medications.
Details of Drafting Process
The task force is developing new guidelines to curb overprescribing and aims to have the rules approved by the Medical Board this fall.
Last week, the task force examined Canadian guidelines and a model policy by the Federation of State Medical Boards. The policy by the FSMB suggests several reasons for the frequent overprescribing of prescription medications, including:
- Inadequate initial assessments that fail to recognize risks involved in prescribing medications;
- Inadequate use of available resources to determine overprescribing or overuse of such substances;
- Incompetent monitoring of prescriptions;
- Insufficient patient education and consent;
- Overreliance on opioids; and
- Unjustified increases of dosages.