MCNTalk and most other news and information sources have discussed the opioid crisis frequently and at great length in recent years. One useful development: a relatively small software company, Appriss Inc., has designed software with the goal of reducing the number of prescriptions written. The software tracks relevant data in state prescription-drug-monitoring programs.
There’s a huge, on-going demand to see this kind of data: in 2016 alone there were 130 million opioid-related queries to monitoring programs, many made by emergency room physicians assessing patients with pain issues. A search of the data can let them know whether their patient has had any — possibly multiple — previous opioid prescriptions filled and therefore is at risk for addiction. Given the scope of the crisis – in 2016 there were 20,000 fatal overdoses from opioids nationwide – reducing access and identifying individuals at risk could save lives. For further details on the software and the crisis, including a discussion of concerns over data sharing and potential leaks, read more here.