“Prevention is better than cure,” the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus once observed.
Clearly, Erasmus’ maxim – first mentioned in the 1500s – had staying power: the phrase is now ubiquitous in healthcare circles and healthy-lifestyle campaigns.
Application of the “prevention principle,” however, has been the real challenge. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of drug diversion.
Recent studies bear this out: the US and Canada – two countries struggling with “unprecedented opioid-related mortality” rates – have “unexplained losses” of controlled substances which are demonstrably high.
This begs the question: how do you prevent what is unexplained?
An examination of healthcare systems also reveals a concerning disjunction: though one will find protocols for the handling of controlled substances – such as Fentanyl and Oxycodone – in most hospitals, comprehensive prevention safeguards to prevent diversion are frequently absent.