While prescription drug abuse can affect the user adversely, the damage often extends far beyond this person alone. For example, friends and family members can be harmed, while the individuals who rely on controlled substances for legitimate medical reasons often see increased scrutiny when they attempt to gain access to the drug.
The New York Times recently profiled the story of a single mother named Amy who needs to undergo weeks of searching to fill the Ritalin prescription her and her son need to stay healthy. But, due to a tug-of-war in the prescription industry, Amy told the news source that she feels like she needs to jump through hoops simply to keep her family together.
"For each new prescription, I must muster up energy to begin the hunt," she said, according to the media outlet. "Maybe I'll get lucky and my order can be filled on the first try. But most often, it's the start of a very difficult search that can take weeks, and burns precious resources."
The report indicates that the shortage of Ritalin may be due to a number of causes. For instance, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that pharmaceutical companies are simply choosing to make costlier versions of the drug, rather than extending generic alternatives to those like Amy. Similarly, the source says that the prescription drug industry has stated that the DEA is limiting its supply.
However, doctors may be able to better monitor the correct use of drugs like methylphenidate – the chemical in Ritalin – by investing in eprescribing software. This technology, which works with electronic medical records software to create a comprehensive account of a patient's health, could allow doctors to confidently prescribe to only those who need it.
Eprescribing has also been found to increase the rate at which patients pick up the drugs they need, and as a result, doctors who treat a large number of these individuals may want to speak with an eprescribing about the top brand names like Medisoft and McKesson that could give them the best results.