RX drug trouble

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SARASOTA - Officials have been cracking down on pain management clinics to make sure those who are getting prescription for narcotic drugs really need them, but now they want to expand their efforts.  They hope all doctors will pitch in to help stomp out prescriptions drug abuse.

"We have patients who come in all the time trying to get them and we just keep it simple and tell them we don't have any because we don't carry them," said Dr. Suleman Bux.

Dr. Bux works at Family Pharmacy in Sarasota and he was talking about prescription drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone.  "If its used for the proper reason, it's okay.  But what's happening is the wrong people are getting a hold of them and they are abusing them or selling them on the black market," said Bux.

And according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office that's exactly what's happening.   "We had a person that was doctor shopping and after we looking into it more we discovered she had 56 doctors, over 150 to 170 different scripts, and over 70 different pharmacies," says Sgt. Debra Kaspar.

Kasper says the person was able to obtain hundreds of pills and she may have been stopped if those doctors ran her name through the state run data base that monitors prescriptions being filled.

"Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is already set up for all doctors with DEA numbers to use. And what we would like to see is those doctors with DEA numbers use the system as a patient tool to help us prevent the misuse, the diversion, the criminal activity, and the addiction we are seeing in Sarasota County," added Kasper. 

But, the news isn't all bad, because Dr. Bux says overall the prescription abuse is down. "The data base so far from what we've seen is working pretty good but there's always way around stuff, so people are still finding ways around it."

The sheriffs office says pain management centers in Sarasota are already required to used the date base before writing a prescription.  So, their current push is to get all doctors and pharmacies in the area to use the system.