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CVS Caremark Uses Data to Combat National Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic; Program Details Published in New England Journal of Medicine Online
Date:8/22/2013

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its continuing efforts to combat the national prescription drug abuse epidemic, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) is tapping its extensive database to identify and halt inappropriate prescribing of high risk drugs such as opioid painkillers.  By evaluating data on prescriptions filled at CVS/pharmacy, CVS Caremark identified providers with extreme patterns of prescribing such high-risk drugs and suspended controlled substance dispensing for those who could not justify their prescribing habits. Details of the unique program were published online first on The New England Journal of Medicine website at nejm.org.

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"Prescription drug abuse in this country is an epidemic, but it doesn't have to be," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark and co-author of the article, "Abusive Prescribing of Controlled Substances – A Pharmacy View."  Brennan added, "CVS Caremark, one of the largest providers of prescription drugs, is committed to mitigating prescription drug abuse by advancing legislation, promoting technology and creating safer communities."

In a recent new effort, CVS Caremark identified problem prescribers by studying their volume and share of high-risk drugs versus other providers in the same specialty and geographic region, as well as the ages of patients and their payment methods. The program identified 42 outlying prescribers who were then asked to provide additional information about their prescribing habits. Of these, only six identified legitimate reasons for their unusual prescribing practices. As a result of the analysis and outreach, CVS Caremark suspended controlle
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