WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Dr. Ben Rachwal has been a pharmacist for 20 years and said he's seen the prescription drug addiction in our society get worse.
"Opiate abuse and opiate addiction is what I'm calling an epidemic," said Rachwal.
But now, a new ruling by Indiana's Medical Licensing Board is trying to help stop that epidemic from getting worse by requiring all doctors to utilize the INSPECT website by December 15.
"We want to make that move and that transition, because not only is it good for the individual, but it's good for the economy, it's good for the workplace, it's good for families," said Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan.
INSPECT is the state's monitoring system which tracks what medications have been prescribed to a patient. Rachwal said it's a website he relies on every day.
"There's no other way that we would know," said Rachwal. "I mean, what would I do by myself? I don't know who's filling what where, they could have gone over there, or over here. So, it's the only option we have."
McMahan said the medical licensing board voted last week to adopt the rule, after state legislators required something be done.
"We're one of a handful of states that do not have official prescribing rules through a medical licensing board," said McMahan. "So, I think they felt this was the time to do it and so that's when Senate Bill 246 came into fruition."
Rachwal said he couldn't be happier with the ruling, but said we still have a long journey ahead in the fight against prescription drug addiction. He said that fight includes everyone.
"The public needs to heighten their awareness to the opiate addiction problem," said Rachwal. "It's big and it's in this town and it's important, and we need to figure out how to deal with it."
McMahon said not all patients will need to be put into the INSPECT system. She said only those who receive prescription medication for more than three months qualify.
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