INDIANAPOLIS — A pharmacy in Indiana hopes to fight against the state’s opioid epidemic by keeping better control of prescriptions and discouraging drug thieves.

Denver-based health care company Cordant Health Solutions opened a controlled substance pharmacy in Indianapolis in October, the Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/2tDIysE ) reported. The pharmacy and its address aren’t open to the public.

“Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic has become the new normal, and we’re trying to provide this private-sector solution to doctors and hospital systems and other stakeholders to get control of this problem,” said Bob Mann, vice president of Cordant Health Solutions.

Physicians send in prescriptions, which are checked in the state’s prescription drug database. The pharmacy then delivers the medication to the patient’s home or office.

The company has stopped at least 300 prescriptions so far this year after the provider changed treatment or a patient was suspected of drug abuse.

The Franciscan Physician Network signed a contract with Cordant in April. The network has 65 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in central Indiana.

Cordant’s approach to handling prescriptions could help cut down fraud, said Dr. Susan E. Hartman, the network’s medical director of quality.

“Because Cordant gives the prescription filled directly to the patient, we assure that the patient is receiving the medication on time and that there are no lost prescriptions, no calling to the office for early refills,” Hartman said. “That’s the best we can do to keep someone compliant.”

Rigo Garcia, CEO of addiction treatment facility Parkdale Center, said people addicted to drugs may be able to figure out which doctors work with Cordant and find another way to get drugs.

“The resourceful, desperate addict is a formidable force,” Garcia said. “If it is not universal, and everybody doesn’t get on the same page, that’s a way for different loopholes to pop up, and we’ll be chasing those loopholes as well.”


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com