Potential Misuse and Inappropriate Prescription Practices Involving Opioid Analgesics | Page 4
Published Online: August 12, 2013
Ying Liu, PhD; Joseph E. Logan, PhD; Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, MPH; Kun Zhang, MS; and Christopher M. Jones, PharmD
While the majority of opioid prescriptions among this large commercially insured population might have been appropriate, a substantial number were prescribed in a manner that suggests potential patient misuse or inappropriate prescription practice by providers. Robust prescription opioid utilization review programs using integrated claims data, similar to our analyses, might help managed care organizations, third-party payers, professional societies, and governmental organizations (through guidelines) improve quality of care and reduce unnecessary healthcare costs.11,12 Managed care organizations and third-party payers can also use similar indicators to flag patients who might benefit from improved, coordinated pain management.
In addition, evidence-based clinical guidelines have suggested a number of tools and approaches clinicians should use to safely prescribe opioids. These include checking prescription drug monitoring programs, which track information on controlled substance prescriptions filled in a state,29 taking a careful history of substance abuse and other mental health problems, conducting routine urine drug screens in concert with pain management agreements, and making use of pain medicine consultants when problems arise.16-20 Such safeguards might help providers avoid improper opioid use and thereby reduce the risk of adverse outcomes related to opioid medications.
Author Affiliations: From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (YL, JEL, LJP, KZ, CMJ), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Funding Source: All work for this study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and none of the authors had conflicts of interest.
Author Disclosures: The authors (YL, JEL, LJP, KZ, CMJ) report no relationshipor financial interest with any entity that would pose a conflict of interest with the subject matter of this article.
Authorship Information: Concept and design (YL, JEL, LJP, CMJ); analysis and interpretation of data (YL, JEL, LJP, KZ); drafting of the manuscript (YL, JEL, LJP, CMJ); critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content (YL, JEL, LJP, KZ, CMJ); statistical analysis (YL, JEL, KZ); administrative, technical, or logistic support (YL); and supervision (LJP).
Address correspondence to: Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, MPH, 601 Sunland Park Dr, Ste 200, El Paso, TX 79912. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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