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The Use of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program To Develop Algorithms To Identify Providers With Unusual Prescribing Practices for Controlled Substances

NCJ Number
Journal of Primary Prevention Volume: 36 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2015 Pages: 287-299
Date Published
October 2015
13 pages
Using one State's prescription drug monitoring program, this study describes a series of metrics developed to identify providers manifesting unusual and uncustomary prescribing practices; and it then presents the results of a preliminary effort to assess the concurrent validity of these algorithms, using death records from the State's vital records database pertaining to providers who wrote prescriptions to patients who then died of a medication or drug overdose within 30 days.

Metrics manifesting the strongest concurrent validity with providers identified from these records related to those who co-prescribed benzodiazepines (e.g., valium) and high levels of opioid analgesics (e.g., oxycodone), as well as those who wrote temporally overlapping prescriptions. The report concludes with a discussion of a variety of uses to which these metrics may be put, as well as problems and opportunities related to their use. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: October 1, 2015