AUDIT OF DRUG-TREATMENT PRESCRIBING SERVICES
NTA publishes “definitive guidelines” on ethical prescribing
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse published definitive guidelines on ethical prescribing for UK drug treatment providers, and committed to putting in place new monitoring procedures to ensure that the guidelines are followed by all doctors.
The COI has completed an independent audit of drug prescribing services which showed: 5% using increased methadone or buprenorphine dosages as a reward for negative urine tests, 7% using decreased dosages as punishment for a positive urine test and 1% prescribing antidepressants as a reward for drug-free urine tests!
“This independent audit shows that most doctors follow correct procedure in ethical prescribing of drug treatment,” said Paul Hayes, CEO of the NTA, which oversees the services provided by NHS and voluntary sector providers. “And we are taking action to prevent continuation of the poor practice identified.
“We are installing new monitoring procedures to prevent inappropriate practice. In April 2009, we will repeat the survey that has just been conducted, to assess the impact of the new measures.”