Our post yesterday on a new study that finds few physicians are following guidelines when prescribing prescription painkillers for injured workers prompted an e-mail today from the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy about its new program to address the problem.
The agency unveiled a new web-based program this week aimed at helping doctors more safely and effectively prescribe these powerful medications, which include such drugs as Oxycontin and Vicodin.
The new training materials, which include video vignettes of doctor patient conversations about opioid pain medications, are part of an initiative created to help physicians, medical interns and other clinicians understand and address the complex problem of prescription drug abuse, the agency said.
The study released Tuesday by the Cambridge-based Workers Compensation Research Institute found that workers prescribed prescription painkillers infrequently received recommended drug test monitoring and psychological evaluation, which can help prevent misuse.
Nearly one in 12 injured workers who are prescribed narcotics are still using them three to six months later, the study found.