Pharmacy Metrics migrating into the prescribing arena ?

CVS Caremark Uses Data to Combat National Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

From the article:

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.

First it was WAGS … demanding that their RPH’s ask a dozen questions of prescribers on each controlled Rx presented to them..

Now.. CVS isn’t asking.. they are just using their massive database to determine what prescribers’ are “out of line” in the controls that they write and the patient base that they see.

Another incident where  “number crunchers” are making determinations about how patients with subjective diseases are – or if – should be treated.

The list of addiction/abuse in this country is quite long.. Tobacco, Alcohol, Gambling, Sex, various substances – including legend drugs.. etc…etc…

I have yet to see the chain store industry individually or collectively walking away from selling tobacco and alcohol products… which kills some 600,000 ..some 10+ times what drug abuse kills..

In fact, when certain cities (San Francisco ) have banned the sale of tobacco in drug stores/pharmacies .. the major players of the chain store industry came out against the ban.. HYPOCRITICAL ???

So now we have chain stores and wholesalers getting involved with the distribution – filling Rxs – at the retail level..  I recently blogged about this

Per Cardinal Wholesaler – RPH are not medical professionals

Is this just plain interference … or have they passed the line of technically “practicing medicine”

I am sure that there are pts that have a legit needs for these medications  are going to be denied and caused to suffer without their medications..

All healthcare professionals are committed to DO NO HARM to pts.. is denial of care … causing harm to pts… and putting them in direct conflict with their code of professional conduct and in violation of their practice act?

It may take the legal profession to straighten this whole mess out.. when they start suing every deep pocket they can find.. for denial of care and pt abuse …

3 Responses

  1. What about legitimate pain clinics? Will the docs be classified in such a way by CVS that the pharmacists are not allowed to fill rx’s from that clinic? CVS is simply trying to keep the DEA off their backs, and the DEA is over stepping its bounds. The people that will be caught in these data mining nets will be the poor patients with real problems and severe pain and they will not be able to get their pain meds. Also, the judgment about what is legitimate and what is not, is being taken out of the hands of the people on the front line that know the situation the best — the pharmacist. It seems that everyone thinks they know more than we do and they want to flaunt their authority over us. If there is a problem with a prescriber, it is the DEA’s responsibility to take care of it. It is not the pharmacists duty to determine if a physician is over prescribing pain meds, we are not cops, nor should be be put in the position of trying to monitor prescribers. And, it is not the proper function of corporate CVS to mine data about physician prescribing habits. If the DEA must depend on us and the chains to spot bad physicians, then what are they doing and what purpose do they serve? Maybe they are too busy sitting at a desk somewhere drawing a paycheck or too busy with lawyers trying to fine the chains.

  2. PS. Our company wants at least one pharmacist in each store to register for the PDMP. But they did not say if they would reimburse us for the notary fee or how to access the database if that pharmacist is not working that day.

  3. I am sure this data mining is a result of the situation in Florida in 2012. To be honest, I would rather have the company identify these physicians, then leave it to the pharmacists to waste time determining which rxs are legit. There have been so many young people in our community who have overdosed on prescription drugs that the police have a task force whose purpose it is to identify the pill mills and the pharmacies who fill for them. A local pharmacist was arrested yesterday. I am sure he was just trying to survive and was careless about verifying prescribers and prescriptions. You know how I hate to stick up for CVS. Although they covering their own butt, there may be some merit in this.

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