Weymouth Responds to the Problem of Doctor Shopping and Pharmacy Hopping

Below is an excerpt from a story about how the town has responded to the problem of "doctor shopping" to obtain prescription drugs.  

Weymouth, MA has experienced growing rates of non-medical prescription drug use, hospitalization and overdose over the past several years. Focusing on youth access to prescription drugs, the coalition drilled down to identify the local conditions contributing to access. Key informant interviews with the Weymouth Police Department revealed that a growing issue of doctor shopping and pharmacy hopping was contributing to an increase in the amount of prescription drugs available for non-medical purposes. In a particular incident in 2011, law enforcement conducted a drug search of a Weymouth resident’s home that resulted in the seizure of approximately 248 pills. Prescriptions for these pain killers came from at least 10 different doctors within that same year. In an effort to prevent patients from filling multiple prescriptions from different doctors for non-medical use, the State of Massachusetts provides an easy-to-use Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) that is available to any doctor or pharmacist. However, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that approximately 100 out of 11,000 licensed pharmacists (and 1,800 out of 50,000 physicians) in the state of MA utilize the look-up function of the PMP program. To learn more about the issue in Weymouth the coalition developed and administered a Pharmacist Survey in April 2012. The results confirmed a lack of participation in the Massachusetts PMP among pharmacists in the Town of Weymouth.

In response to the data, it became clear that a plan of action needed to be developed.

Read the full article here at the CADCA site: http://www.cadca.org/content/preventing-doctor-shopping-and-pharmacy-hopping