Technology is helping pharmacies combat the opioid epidemic

Advancements in pharmaceutical technology now make it possible for opioids to be tracked more efficiently. Prescription monitoring databases allow systems to alert the pharmacist if it is too soon to fill prescriptions, for example. Pharmacy systems are now integrating with these databases to proactively notify the pharmacist of medication abuse.

Advancements in pharmaceutical technology now make it possible for opioids to be tracked more efficiently. Prescription monitoring databases allow systems to alert the pharmacist if it is too soon to fill prescriptions, for example. Pharmacy systems are now integrating with these databases to proactively notify the pharmacist of medication abuse. The pharmacist can alert authorities about a fake prescription that has been provided or alert the patient's medical provider so he or she can address the situation with the patient directly. Increased utilization of electronic prescribing significantly reduces the risk of fraudulent prescriptions being presented to the pharmacy. Prescriptions that are handwritten can be digitally scanned and saved in the pharmacy system. This allows the pharmacist to refer back to another prescription by the prescriber to validate the authenticity of the signature and determine whether or not it was forged. There are inventory systems available that can track exactly how much of each opioid a pharmacy has in stock at all times. The tracking system allows the staff to know when the opioids are filled, how many are filled, and if any potential diversion from within the pharmacy is occurring. The inventory system can alert pharmacists if there are increases in the amount of medication being ordered and whether those thresholds are in violation of any agreements they have with their medication suppliers.