COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio doctors are supposed to check prescription histories of patients against a state website before recommend painkillers, but an audit has found that some 12,000 doctors appear to be violating the policy to curb the epidemic opioids.
An audit August by the state Board of Pharmacy identified the doctors who either were not registered on the site or were not using properly. The list pane turned out last week to the state medical board, which licenses physicians and sent letters to all doctors who warn potential violations. The total represents about a third of doctors in Ohio.
The offensive comes as Ohio faces an epidemic of drug overdose has been linked in part to the ease of access to prescription opioids.
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Medical Board spokeswoman Tessie Pollock said the priority of the meeting will be the 45 doctors who prescribe painkillers seem to more than 200 patients during the month without running the necessary checks.
Review of the Board of Pharmacy found the first 25 doctors on the list failed to execute the required report on a combined total of 7,500 patients. That included a doctor who prescribed painkillers to 705 patients a month without running a single check.
Pollock said serious violators could face suspension or revocation of license, probation or fines.
Many of the violations could prove to be minor, so the board plans to engage the strong enforcement action with an education program that helps doctors understand how to use the site said.
The Medical Association of the State of Ohio, which represents doctors, said he does not believe that 12,000 doctors are breaking the law.
“We are certainly supportive of medical boards and pharmacy that these periodic and ensure that people agree, but it is actually a kind of checks and balances of stuff looks,” said Reggie Campos, spokesman for the association.
Campos said the medical community recognizes the magnitude of the problem of opiate addiction in the state and is compatible with the law as a way to improve monitoring of painkiller prescriptions and to identify patients who try medical store to more pills.
He said the association encourages its members to respond to the letters board and comply with the law.
– Julie Carr Smyth