skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 249481 Find in a Library
Title: Use of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program To Develop Algorithms To Identify Providers With Unusual Prescribing Practices for Controlled Substances
Author(s): Christopher Ringwalt; Sharon Schiro; Meghan Shanahan; Scott Proescholdbell; Harold Meder; Anna Austin; Nidhi Sachdeva
Date Published: November 2015
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2012-R2-CX-0002
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using one State’s prescription drug monitoring program, this report describes a series of metrics developed by the authors to facilitate the identification of prescription drug providers who have unusual and uncustomary prescribing practices, followed by results of a preliminary effort to assess the concurrent validity of these algorithms.
Abstract: The noted benefit of using the proposed metrics is that they provide a tool to State-level institutions that have the statutory authority and responsibility to identify and investigate individuals employing unusual and questionable prescription practices. In North Carolina, where the validity of the metrics was tested, these State institutions are the State Bureau of Investigation and the Medical Board. Each institution can select the particular metric it believes is most likely to identify prescription providers that warrant investigation. The authors acknowledge that the proposed metrics constitute only an initial screen, meaning that a substantial amount of work must be done by the authorities responsible for identifying prescribers who warrant attention. In the current study, the focus was on prescribers who were temporally linked by their prescribing records to individuals who died from an overdose of the prescribed drug. Such data, however, may be inconsistent, and the emergency services available to reverse overdoses may affect mortality rates in rural areas. None of the data sources should be considered a gold standard against which the sensitivity and specificity of the algorithms may be judged; however, there is value in assessing their concurrent validity. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 46 references
Main Term(s): Drug law enforcement
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug overdose; Investigative techniques; Mathematical modeling; NIJ final report; North Carolina; Prescription drugs
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.