BATON ROUGE – A new report found that more than 25,000 prescriptions were not filed in the state’s database.
By law, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy must maintain an electronic system that monitors controlled substances.
“We identified more than 25,500 prescriptions dispensed during calendar year 2016 with outstanding errors that had not been released into Louisiana’s PMP as of November 2017,” according to the report.
The Prescription Monitoring Program, which was created in 2006, is supposed to keep track of all dangerous substances, but the audit found, among other things, that prescription drugs are being used to create street drugs like “Purple Drank” and a date rape drug.
The missing prescription medications seriously hinder the state’s effort to curtail opioid addiction and overdose deaths.
“We conducted this audit because the dispensing of addictive medications such as opioids and sedatives, as well as overdose deaths from prescription drugs, has increased in recent years,” according to the report. “According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 1,000 people died in Louisiana in 2016 due to drug overdoses, an increase of 14.7% from 2015.5 During calendar year 2016, Louisiana was one of the top states for the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed, averaging 98.1 prescriptions per 100 persons.”
The state auditor is recommending, among other changes, that the Pharmacy Board start an internal audit system to make sure all prescriptions can be tracked.