Strengthening Colorado’s Prescription Control Program


DENVER (AP) – Colorado program that allows doctors, dentists, pharmacists and others to check a database before dispensing prescriptions for certain drugs has not stopped so-called “doctor buying” for opioids and sedatives and requires legislation to require prescribers to register with and use the database.

This is according to the State Auditor’s Office, which reviewed Colorado’s prescription drug oversight program within the Department of Regulatory Agencies. He presented an audit to the Legislative Audit Committee on Monday.

Established in 2008, the surveillance program aims to collect data on certain prescriptions from pharmacies to prevent patients from obtaining large amounts of opioids and unsafe combinations of prescription drugs.

Colorado Politics reports that, according to the audit, prescription opioid overdose deaths increased from 246 in 2008 to 433 in 2019. This is the most common type of overdose death in Colorado.


A 2014 state law requires pharmacists to submit information about dispensed controlled substances to the database. But the audit found that there were no penalties for non-compliance.

He recommended that prescribers be legally required to consult the database before dispensing prescriptions for opioids or benzodiazepines; add penalties to require pharmacists and physicians to register and use the database; impose limits on opioid prescriptions; and add references to law enforcement or health care regulatory agencies for those who do not comply.


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