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New Research Gives Insight to the Frequency of 'Doctor Shopping' Occurring Within Prescription Monitoring Programs
Date:2/4/2010

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Research presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine's 26th Annual Meeting provides early published data analyzing information gathered from California's prescription monitoring program, known as the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). The analysis found a two-fold increase in the likelihood of individuals receiving opioids from multiple providers or "doctor shopping" when they were also being simultaneously prescribed a single additional class of a controlled substances, such as benzodiazepines or amphetamines. When there was more than one additional drug class involved, there was a 13-fold increase for individuals seeing multiple providers.

Over 34 states (stat from the DEA, link below) currently have prescription monitoring programs in place in an effort to address prescription drug abuse, addiction and diversion. One goal of the PMPs is to prevent individuals from "doctor shopping" where they obtain multiple prescriptions from multiple healthcare providers, which they subsequently fill at multiple pharmacies. To date, there is limited published data demonstrating the frequency of multiple provider episodes for controlled substances.  

Analyzing de-identified prescription data from the CURES program, researchers at the University of California, Davis found that approximately half of the multiple provider episodes or "doctor shopping" cases involved more than one occurrence. Researchers also report that approximately 13% of these occurrences involved prescriptions for opioid prescriptions, followed by 4% for benzodiazepines, followed by stimulant amphetamines (1.4%) and diet amphetamines (0.8%)

Lead researcher and AAPM Director at Large, Past President (2005), and AAPM Chair of Legislative
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SOURCE American Academy of Pain Medicine
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