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Oregon secretary of state’s audit finds much work still to do on prescription drug monitoring, ease opioid crisis

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SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ —  Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and the Oregon Audits Division released a follow-up report Wednesday to a 2018 audit of Oregon Health Authority’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, finding much room for improvement on efforts to head off prescription drug abuse and ease the opioid crisis.

Auditors found that only four of 12 recommendations from the original audit have been fully implemented, according to a news release from Fagan's office, which continues in full below:

“The opioid crisis is a grave threat both in Oregon and the around the county,” Secretary Fagan said. “This report includes specific actions we can take to improve outcomes in our communities. State legislators and the Oregon Health Authority should implement them as soon as possible.”

Auditors focused on the status of 12 recommendations made in 2018. Auditors found four recommendations were fully implemented and three recommendations were partially implemented.

Our follow-up work indicates Oregon could do more to promote and enhance the use of PDMP as a tool to help combat drug epidemics. However, legislative changes are needed to fully implement most of the outstanding recommendations. Those recommendations include areas such as data sharing, using the PDMP database, and collecting further information.

The misuse and abuse of opioids and risk of overdose remain a health threat nationally and in Oregon. This involves both prescription opioid pain medications and illicit opioids. Oregon has the highest rate of misuse of prescription opioids in the nation.

Oregon’s PDMP is an important tool to help address prescription drug abuse and misuse, including opioids, and improve health outcomes. Oregon is still one of the few states not requiring prescribers or pharmacists to use the PDMP database before certain prescriptions are written or dispensed.

The 2018 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program audit won the National Association of State Auditors Excellence in Accountability award and influenced several other states to audit their PDMP program.

Read the follow-up report on the Secretary of State website.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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