Data analysis could help curb Rx drug abuse

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 22, 2012

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Prescription drug monitoring programs should be more proactive about analyzing the data that are collected and sharing it with physicians, pharmacists, insurers and law enforcement, according to a study conducted by the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Center for Excellence at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management in Waltham, Mass.

The 100-page report said sending alerts to physicians and pharmacists about possible abuses was tied to lower prescription sales and doctor-shopping rates. The report also found that states that collect prescribing data for all controlled substances reported lower rates of doctor-shopping than other states. Analyzing trend data helped law enforcement agencies identify so-called pill mills that were illicitly distributing prescription painkillers.

The research was funded by the Pew Health Group, a division of the Pew Charitable Trust.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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