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Industry Voices—Tackling drug diversion with a proactive approach steeped in analytics

December 18, 2018 / Lily Henson

We’ve made great strides in addressing the opioid epidemic at a national level. Just two months ago, Congress passed a comprehensive bipartisan package (PDF) taking aim at substance abuse disorders by combining ideas from 58 opioid bills. But one area that still eludes our industry is the drug diversion happening within healthcare systems by as many as 10% of all healthcare providers. As a 2017 Porter Research survey (PDF) on this topic noted, 96% of healthcare industry respondents acknowledged that while drug diversion is occurring in healthcare, most diversion goes undetected. In 2011, Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center began building a drug diversion program, which was practically unheard of at the time. Through trial and error, the program has grown from an ancillary agenda into a full-time effort.