Texas Aims To Crackdown On Prescription Drug Abuse - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texas Aims To Crackdown On Prescription Drug Abuse

Wichita Falls, TX -  Some Texas lawmakers want to make it harder for prescription drug abusers to get their hands on pills but that could also mean more work for your doctor. 

Newschannel 6 reached out to a Texoma pharmacist about this proposed change to see if they think it would help  doctors keep tabs on prescription records.

Chuck Weaver, a Pharmacist at Trott's Call Field Drug said his pharmacy always keep their eyes open for abusers of prescription drugs.

"We look for patterns of abuse, patterns of use, someone is using more than one physician for the same type of medication," said Weaver. 

He told Newschannel 6 one of the most common methods used to get drugs is "doctor shopping."  Abusers visit different doctors offices and pharmacies to get multiple prescriptions filled. 

The proposed law would require doctors to use online databases to ensure patients aren't taking advantage of the system.

"In some cases it will help,but some cases it will be an extra time burden," said Weaver.

Weaver said his pharmacy already uses a database called Prescription Access Texas operated by the Texas Department of Public Safety. I

"This database is not mandated. Its just another useful tool that we use to try and help prevent abuse," said Weaver. "The patients are responsible for taking the medication exactly as prescribed and as counseled by their physician and as counseled by their pharmacist. "

As a pharmacist, Weaver said patient health is very important, but does not think more oversight on doctors to track prescriptions is the right fix. 

The National Instiute on Drug Abuse says about 52 million people in the United States over the age of 12 years old have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetime. 

An a recent investigation in Texas found fewer than a third of the doctors punished by the Texas Medical Board over a three-year period for prescribing violations involving two or more patients were prosecuted.

Lawmakers are set to dicuss this problem sometime after the legislative session reconvenes on Jan. 14.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6 
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