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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 24, 2015

Wide Variation in Controlled Substance Prescribing Patterns

JAMA. 2015;314(20):2123. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15665

For the first time, researchers have used multiple states’ prescription drug monitoring programs to examine prescribing patterns that suggest controlled substance misuse or abuse.

Investigators from the CDC and Brandeis University analyzed 2013 data from the Prescription Behavior Surveillance System, which is funded by the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration to compile information that health professionals and law enforcement can use to identify improper use of controlled substances. The study analyzed data from 8 states—California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, and West Virginia—representing about a quarter of the US population.

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