Registry could prevent drug abusers from doctor-hopping

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is still studying the proposed expansion of the Central Drug Prescribing Registry (CDPR) to monitor dispensing details for benzodiazepines (a type of medication known as tranquilisers), its spokesman told The New Paper.

Besides enabling the ministry to monitor prescribing patterns for these drugs, the system will allow doctors to identify "doctor-hopping" behaviours of potential drug abusers who may visit different clinics to get their "fix".

Dormicum is a benzodiazepine that can be used to induce sleep.

Last December, MOH asked the public for feedback on its proposal to make it mandatory for all doctors to enter dispensing details for all benzodiazepines into a web-based CDPR system.

The feedback exercise ended on Jan 7.

MOH has previously classified substances such as triazolam and Erimin-5 as controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act to prevent their abuse here.

In 2008, the ministry tightened its guidelines on the use of benzodiazepine.

Since then, doctors have to keep detailed records justifying why they prescribe a given drug, and must inform MOH if they suspect that a patient is addicted to a benzodiazepine.

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