Enhanced tool to allow Ohio pharmacies to fight back against opioid epidemic

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

DAYTON, OH (WDTN) – Ohio pharmacists are stepping up efforts to prevent addiction with an update to the state’s prescription monitoring system.

According to Ohio Department of Health, opioids have been the leading cause of addiction-related deaths since 2010.

Ohio has monitored prescription information since 2006 with OARRS (Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System).

Now, with an increase overdoses, an update will hit the shelves this November.

“The platform itself will offer more tools and more opportunities for pharmacists and doctors to be able to evaluate whether or not a patient may in fact be legitimate and if they have any potential problems,” said Dr. Marc Sweeney, the Dean of Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy.

The problem comes down to addiction.

The program can now calculate overdose risk and provide treatment options if any red flags pop up.

“Anytime you upgrade or bring new things to the table, it can bring work-flow challenges. It can bring time challenges, but all of that is time and money well spent,” said Dr. Sweeney.

Pharmacists will now have interactive data right at their fingertips.

“I don’t think pharmacists look at it negatively because it really expands their toolbox,” said Dr. Sweeney. He adds, “To be able to refer them to addiction specialists. I think that’s a big plus for the state of Ohio.”

The upgrade comes as all eyes look to Ohio to find a way to fight back against addiction.

“I believe we have a culture of innovation. I think this demonstrates that ongoing innovation we see out of Ohio,” said Dr. Sweeney.

The upgraded system will be available to healthcare providers beginning Nov. 20.

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