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CVS combats drug abuse with data analysis


Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS Caremark is evaluating data on prescriptions filled at CVS/pharmacy to identify providers with extreme patterns of prescribing high-risk drugs. Providers who cannot offer a reasonable explanation for these patterns have their controlled substance dispensing operations suspended.

CVS recently launched a program that analyzed volume and share of high-risk drugs compared to other providers in the same specialty and geographic region, as well as the ages of patients and their payment methods. The program has 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 controlled substance dispensing through the company's CVS/pharmacy locations and the CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacies for prescriptions written by the other 36 providers.

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