Pharmacy Practice

Mitigating Diversion of Controlled Substances

Published: October 5, 2022
educational programming

New guidelines were approved by the ASHP Board of Directors earlier this year.

Approved by the ASHP Board of Directors in July 2022, the revised ASHP Guidelines on Preventing Diversion of Controlled Substances include additions and updates on key issues since they were last published in 2016. An overview of the revised guidelines was presented during a live ASHP webinar in July 2022 and is now available as an on-demand educational opportunity accessible via ASHP eLearning.

Many recent large-scale diversion events have resulted in either loss of life, harm to patients, significant fines, or damage to institutional reputation. Organization safety culture is a critical component of a controlled substance diversion prevention program (CSDPP). The guidelines outline the latest strategies and include a framework to help healthcare organizations develop and implement a collaborative, comprehensive CSDPP to reduce compliance risk and analyze an organization’s state of adoption with best practice recommendations.  

In support of the guideline adoption and implementation, this year’s ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition educational programming and a networking event focused on drug diversion mitigation include: 

Sunday, Dec. 4

Morning Session

9 – 10 a.m.

Roundtable: Controlled Substance Diversion – Mitigation and Management

Discussion Topics:

  • Effective organizational controlled substance diversion prevention strategies and policies and procedures
  • Tactics in surveillance, use of technologies, and analytics

Participants will discuss factors supporting the use of a CSDPP and share practical ways to close identified gaps in best practices for controlled substance diversion.

Afternoon Sessions

2:45 – 3:15 p.m. (0.5 contact hours)

(Management Case Study) Establishing a Drug Diversion Response Team (DDRT) Within Risk Management at a Multi-Center Teaching Institution

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the importance of an interdisciplinary controlled substance (CS) committee for engaging key stakeholders in the management of CS
  • Describe how a defined standardized process for investigation increases the efficiency of the DDRT
  • Describe how compliance with action item completion can be improved by maintaining an accurate case repository and standard investigation guidelines

3:30 – 5 p.m. (1.5 contact hours)

Rise of The Machine: Empowering a Diversion Monitoring Program Using Machine Learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe best practices in CSDPPs
  • Define the key aspects of a CSDPP that can be automated
  • Describe key data analytics techniques, including machine learning, to promote drug diversion program best practices

Monday, Dec. 5

(Professional Poster) Impact of a Pharmacy Diversion Detection Program for Controlled Substance Use in Procedural Areas

Tuesday, Dec. 6

9 – 11 a.m. (2.00 contact hours)

Management Pearls 2022 

  • Diversion Prevention Basics on a Budget (9:35 – 9:40 a.m.)
  • Impact of a Next-Generation Controlled Substance Diversion Surveillance Software Program at a Large Academic Medical Center (10:10 – 10:15 a.m.)
  • Lessons Learned from Implementing New Drug Diversion Software (10:35 – 10:40 a.m.)

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Roundtable: Operations and Automation 

Discussion Topics: 

  • Cybersecurity in pharmacy: Planning drills for large-scale downtimes 
  • Drug diversion monitoring programs: Updates and potential roles of AI solutions 
  • Impact of drug shortages on automation and operations 

Visit ASHP’s Midyear meeting session schedule to find out more about the full roster of educational sessions and special events.

Posted October 5, 2022

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