Coalition Urges Insurers To Address Rx Abuse

May 08, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Insurance companies share responsibility for the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States, according to a national alliance of families, medical professionals, law enforcement, and drug abuse prevention advocates. The not-for-profit Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD) yesterday called for insurers to take specific steps to prevent the abuse of prescription medications.

More than 7 million Americans admit to having recently abused a prescription medication, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Prescription drug overdoses surpass car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in at least 15 states, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

In a television interview broadcast to more than 220 million households in more than 100 countries, a CLAAD spokesperson called for insurance companies to "take steps that will prevent people from being able to obtain insurance benefits to go 'doctor shopping.'" The term "doctor shopping" refers to the practice of obtaining numerous prescriptions from various prescribers for similar medications.

Among the steps insurance companies must take are the following:

  • Utilize technologies to flag patterns suggesting drug diversion or abuse;
  • Consult with health care providers and patients to ensure lawful access and appropriate use of medications; and
  • Provide coverage for new technologies designed to lessen abuse or overdose potential.
  • The television interview may be found online at

    About the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence
    The primary objective of the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD) is to coordinate a comprehensive national effort to prevent the diversion, misuse, and abuse of prescription medications while ensuring adequate medical care for patients in need. CLAAD enables health professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and government, among many other entities, to share resources and work together to prevent the diversion, misuse, and abuse of medications.