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New program targets research on reducing deaths due to prescription opioid overdose
Date:10/5/2010

"Our goal with this study is to see if we can put the PMP data to use for public health surveillance and to inform preventative action."

Linking data from the PMPs and other state agencies, Green and her colleagues will study all accidental overdose deaths among adults in CT and RI in 2009 that involve a prescription opioid. The researchers hope to be able to refine the definition of "doctor shopping" (i.e., seeing multiple physicians to fill prescriptions). They will also compare the use of the RI and CT PMPs as a component of clinical care and potential overdose prevention tool for prescribers and dispensers through a survey of RI and CT health professionals. Bringing together what is learned from the data to identify communities particularly hard-hit by prescription opioid abuse and overdose deaths, Green's research team will provide strategic support to one community in each state to carry out an evaluation and develop a locally relevant response to the problem.

The team will work closely with the directors of the PMPs in both states Cathy Cordy, RPh, director of the RI Board of Pharmacy, which houses and runs the RI PMP, and John Gadea, RPh, director of the Division of Drug Control for the Department of Consumer Protection in CT, which oversees the CT PMP. They will also work closely with the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals; the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; and the state medical examiner's offices in RI and CT.

Cordy says, "This is a unique research study that will utilize prescription monitoring data to provide important information about the non-medical abuse of prescription opioids and assist in developing innovative public health strategies, interventions and educational initiatives that will save lives."

Gadea agrees, and comments, "This research will provide the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection with valuable information that
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Contact: Nancy Cawley Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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