New agreements available to prevent prescription drug abuse

SAN DIEGO - San Diego County medical leaders unveiled new agreements Friday to prevent prescription drug abuse.

The Countywide Patient Medication Agreement are voluntary agreements between doctors and patients that are designed to ensure patients get their medications primarily from one doctor and one pharmacy, according to officials.

The agreement was prompted by the surge of prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping."

In 2012, prescription drugs played a role in the deaths of 268 people in San Diego County—a 22-percent increase compared to 2008. A total of 1,221 people have died due to prescription drugs in the last five years, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

Officials said drug users or dealers visit multiple doctors to generate multiple prescriptions.

Medical leaders said Friday they hope the agreement will fight the increasing problem as physicians are uniquely situated to help identify potential abuse or intent to divert prescribed medications, according to officials.

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