-- JENNIFER --
GOOD EVENING, I'M JENNIFER HOFF.
MORE THAN TWO MILLION PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE GENERIC
VERSION OF VICODIN.
ANOTHER ONE-PLUS MILLION FOR OXYCODONE.
THE NUMBERS RELEASED FROM WISCONSIN'S PRESCRIPTION
DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM SHOW THERE'S NO SUPPLY SHORTAGE
NEWS 3 INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER ADAM SCHRAGER JOINS
US TONIGHT WITH THE STORY BEHIND THE STATISTICS.
-- ADAM --
WHEN WISCONSIN LAUNCHED ITS PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING
PROGRAM LAST YEAR, THE IDEA WAS TO PREVENT ADDICTS
FROM WHAT'S CALLED DOCTOR SHOPPING.
OR GOING FROM ONE DOCTOR TO ANOTHER TO GET PAIN MEDICATION.
WE DON'T KNOW HOW THAT'S WORKING JUST YET...
BUT WE ARE UNDERSTANDING THE SHEER NUMBER OF PILLS
THAT ARE BEING DISPENSED IN WISCONSIN.
TWO-PLUS MILLION FOR HYDROCODONE, MORE THAN A MILLION
OF OXYCODONE AND SIGNIFICANT TOTALS FOR TRAMADOL AND
IT'S LEADING TO CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN STATE LAWMAKERS
AND DOCTORS ABOUT HOW TO STOP THE PROBLEM.
EVERY YEAR, MORE PEOPLE DIE FROM PRESCRIPTION DRUG
OVERDOSES THAN FROM CAR CRASHES.
No doubt it is shocking...
STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOHN NYGREN'S PUSHING THROUGH
THE LEGISLATURE A SERIES OF MEASURES DESIGNED TO FIGHT
HEROIN ABUSE IN WISCONSIN.
I've heard between 80-90 percent of the heroin addictions
started with prescription drugs like oxycontin...
NOW, HE WANTS DOCTORS TO DO THEIR PART AND HELP LIMIT
THE SUPPLY FLOWING INTO WISCONSIN.
They understand they have a role to play in helping
fight this addiction problem we're seeing not only
in Wisconsin, but throughout the country.
Physicians have a responsibility broadly for dealing
MICHAEL MILLER TREATS ADDICTS AND SEES THE PROBLEM
It's a dilemma for the medical profession because
on the one hand, you don't want to under-treat pain
and people who have pain.
On the other hand, you don't want to overprescribe
and have more pills in circulation that can be misused.
HE SAYS EDUCATING HIS COLLEAGUES IS THE BEST WAY TO
DEAL WITH THE EPIDEMIC.
The real answer to this is probably going to come
from safer prescribing.
BACK AT THE CAPITOL, NYGREN WOULD PREFER DOCTORS DO
I'm not necessarily sure we're going to tell doctors
how to do their job because that's not necessarily
appopriate, but do we have a prescription drug problem
in our state, yes.
HE SAYS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SEE THE MILLIONS OF
PRESCRIPTIONS BEING WRITTEN TO UNDERSTAND THAT PROBLEM.
It does emphasize the level and the scope of the problem
we do face.
-- ADAM --
OVER THE FIRST YEAR OF THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING
PROGRAM, THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 10-POINT-3 MILLION
MOSTLY STIMULANTS, SEDATIVES AND PAIN MEDICATIONS.
THE 2013 STATISTICS WILL HELP SET A BASELINE GOING
FORWARD TO SEE IF THE NUMBERS GO UP IN THE FUTURE.
-- JENNIFER --
ADAM SCHRAGER, THANKS.