A Health Issue Analysis: Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is one of the acutest problems of the modern healthcare systems in the USA. According to research data, in the past decade, the rate of deaths due to prescription drug overdose grew by 142% (Paulozzi, Kilbourne, & Desai, 2011). Thus, it is crucial to promote prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) that would help in preventing the abuse. The paper discusses past and present funding for initiatives addressing the identified health issue.

Currently, PDMPs are funded both by public and private sources. In the past decades, there were the same options to select from in order to support PDMPs. The major public funding point of financial support is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. In order to improve access to prescription drug abuse prevention measures, the CDC awarded over $28.6 million to forty-four states and the District of Columbia in 2017 (“CDC awards $28.6 million,” 2017). Other common public funding options include federal grants, general revenue funds, controlled substances registration fees, professional licensing fees, and regulatory boards funds (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center [PDMPTTAC], 2013). Less common public funding sources include legal settlements, health insurance licensing fees, and Medicaid fraud settlements.

Federal grants play a significant role in the establishment and enhancement of PDMPs. This option can be employed to reinforce state funds or to cover the gap when state funds are insufficient (PDMPTTAC, 2013). The most influential of current grants is the Harold Rogers PDMP Grant Program that was launched in 2003 and is regulated by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (PDMPTTAC, 2013). Another popular program was the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Grant, but it is currently not available (PDMPTTAC, 2013). Thus, support from CDC is frequently the most viable option for some states. Another common public funding option in the USA is professional licensing fees (PDMPTTAC, 2013). These fees are granted by regulatory boards and licensing agencies, and they play an important role in promoting and supporting PDMPs.

In the private funding sector, there are fewer options available, such as private donations that were used in the past and are still used at present. Another source of funding is through private (non-federal) grants (PDMPTTAC, 2013). In particular, stipends to PDMPs are provided by the National Association of State Controlled Substances Authorities (NASCSA), a non-profit organization that relies on membership fees and donations. As of 2013, such stipends were given to four states: Illinois, Delaware, Tennessee, and Kansas (PDMPTTAC, 2013). Private donations constitute the method of fundraising through different private entities. However, this approach does not ensure consistency since it depends on individuals’ and organizations’ possibilities which can fluctuate. Apart from the existing funding options, there are potential methods of raising financial support for PDMPs. They include assessed fines, drug manufacturers’ assessment, asset forfeiture, prescription fees, PDMP authorized users, and private third-party payers or health insurers (PDMPTTAC, 2013). Thus, there is a variety of opportunities to fund PDMPs that can be employed to support these vital programs.

It is crucial to support prescription drug monitoring programs in order to decrease the rate of deaths associated with prescription drug overuse. There are numerous ways of funding for such projects, including public and private options. The most viable of public funding approaches are federal grants. In the private sector, donations and private grants are available. Almost all of current funding possibilities were founded a few decades ago. Some of the old methods, such as the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Grant, are not available at present. However, it is expected that new options will emerge in the nearest future.

References

(2017). Web.

Paulozzi, L. J., Kilbourne, E. M., & Desai, H. A. (2011). Prescription drug monitoring programs and death rates from drug overdose. Pain Medicine, 12(5), 747-754.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center. (2013). Funding options for prescription drug monitoring programs. Web.

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