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Purdue Pharma has established the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS™) System, a research-based initiative to study the prevalence of abuse and diversion of controlled prescription medications. The system is designed to obtain valuable quantitative and qualitative information on the relative rates of abuse, addiction, and diversion of commonly prescribed prescription pain medicines - data that do not currently exist. Currently there is no valid and universally accepted system to capture and analyze the prevalence of abuse and diversion of controlled prescription medications.
“The RADARS™ System will actively collect evidence concerning the abuse, addiction, and diversion of these medications for evaluation relative to the rates of legitimate medical use,” according to Sidney H. Schnoll, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director, Health Policy at Purdue Pharma. Dr. Schnoll, a nationally recognized expert on addiction medicine, is coordinating the RADARS™ System effort. “A comprehensive surveillance system is needed to look at these data and establish a scientific foundation for developing more effective prevention and intervention efforts.”
In order to effectively combat the problem of abuse of prescription drugs, it is essential to develop a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the nature and scope of the problem. Information regarding abuse and diversion must be gathered from multiple sources (e.g., physicians, researchers, treatment centers, law enforcement and epidemiologists). While the RADARS™ System complements existing publicly available monitoring systems, it is the first effort to study the abuse, addiction, and diversion of multiple prescription drugs on a national scale, and is designed to gather data in a more timely fashion than current publicly accessible databases.
How will the RADARS™ System help to support efforts against abuse and diversion of prescription drugs?
The unique data generated by the RADARS™ System will help the healthcare community, law enforcement, other government agencies, the public, and the pharmaceutical industry better understand the problem of abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. The data will assist lawmakers and regulators in making rational, science-based decisions about policies regarding prescription drug use and abuse that affect public health. Data will also be used to help design and assess prevention and intervention programs.
What prescription drugs will the RADARS™ System monitor?
Initially, the RADARS™ System will monitor six types of prescription opioid pain medications with recognized abuse potential: morphine, buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxycodone. As experience with the System accumulates, other types of medications, such as benzodiazepines (alprazolam and diazepam), will be added.
Who is guiding the RADARS™ System initiative?
An External Advisory Board meets regularly to advise Purdue Pharma on program design, the need for periodic improvements, and ongoing system operations. Board members advise on studies to be funded, study design and implementation, interpretation of study results, and assessment of prevention and intervention programs. Members were selected for their expertise in monitoring drug abuse patterns, and represent scientific researchers, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and state regulatory communities.
What RADARS™ System studies have been initiated?
Purdue Pharma is contracting with and providing grants to Universities and other independent agencies to conduct RADARS™ System studies. External Advisory Board members are involved in study design and implementation, and interpretation of study results. The Universities and independent agencies involved will report study results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and at national and international scientific meetings. While the External Advisory Board is considering a series of different studies.
The RADARS™ System External Advisory Board members include:
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