Drug diversion causes infection outbreaks, patient harm

Infection outbreaks revealed gaps in prevention, detection and response to drug diversion, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Drug diversion can cause serious harm to patients, and over the past 10 years, researchers documented 100 infections and nearly 30,000 patients exposed to bacterial pathogens because of drug diversion. "Healthcare facilities should ensure that patients safely receive medications as prescribed. This effort includes having systems in place to prevent drug diversion as well as developing protocols for early detection and appropriate response if, despite safeguards, diversion does occur," researchers wrote. Hospitals should enforce strong narcotics security measures and maintain active monitoring systems, as well as report infractions to enforcement agencies and assess harm to patients. Article