March 23, 2007
The availability of diverted pharmaceutical narcotic, depressant, and stimulant drugs is high and increasing across most parts of the United States, according to the 2007 National Drug Threat Assessment, issued by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC).
o More than three-fourths of state and local law enforcement agencies report high or moderate availability of diverted pharmaceuticals in their area.
o Following are specific findings from the report, based on analysis of the most recently available law enforcement, intelligence, and public health data.
o The internet is an increasingly prevalent source of diverted pharmaceutical drugs and such drugs are often obtained through internet pharmacies without proof of prescription, consultation, or doctor’s examination.
o While the diversion of pharmaceuticals is widespread, the availability of such drugs has been reduced in some areas. These reductions are most evident in states that have implemented Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMPs), particularly Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Utah.
“Many pharmaceutical drug abusers are substituting illegal drugs, especially in areas where pharmaceutical drug diversion has been reduced.” Law enforcement and public health reports from California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin indicate that some opiate abusers who began abusing OxyContin® have switched to using heroin.
The increased use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached to or placed within pharmaceutical packaging can decrease diversion, as well as identify vulnerable areas in the supply chain and aid law enforcement investigations.
See also; UN Warns on Illicit Medication Sales
From: Join Together Online