Monday, August 29, 2011
Today, the Allergy Dude will write about a potentially delicate topic: being red flagged for a prescription at your pharmacy. Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Justice has offered a grant to states to support the planning, implementation, and enhancement of a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), as of May of 2011, 35 states have established their own PDMP and the remaining states territories are planning to have a PDMP. South Carolina happens to be in the former group. The website providing information is part of the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The express purpose is to monitor prescriptions of controlled medications. Pharmacies and physicians now have a source to check that patients who request prescriptions of controlled substances, especially for either large quantities or frequent refills, are not abusing the health care system. If there is suspicion, then those patients have a "red flag" placed next to their name, to warn the providers and pharmacists. This is not literal, since every one uses computers these days. Unfortunately, abuse of controlled medications is a fact of life. This mechanism helps to reduce this unpleasant problem. Even in my office, an allergist's, there is occasional need to access that website to check up the patient's history of prescriptions and from which doctor and pharmacy.
The purpose of Allergy Dude's entry today is to provide more facts to those that are searching for answers on the internet about "red flags". I had to do some searching myself for documented answers.