TruPharmacy News: May Edition

Diversion Occurs in Hospice

Drug Diversion

Medication diversion in hospice is a growing concern, especially in light of the opioid epidemic. More than 90% of patients in hospice and palliative care are prescribed opioid medications for pain management, and many individuals receive home care. Prescription medications at home can be a source of diversion among family and friends, especially those with a history of substance abuse. Pharmacists can play an important role not only in managing patients’ pain but also in preventing drug diversion.

In a study published in JAMA, investigators conducted a national survey of hospices from June to September 2018. Six hundred agencies were randomly selected and surveyed via phone or online about experiences, policies, and practices. Representatives from 371 hospices completed the surveys (62% response rate), and 31% of respondents reported at least 1 case of confirmed diversion in the prior quarter…



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