Hundreds of doctors to be investigated for questionable prescribing practices

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 24 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4076
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

An investigation into physicians’ prescribing practices through Medicare’s drug benefit plan Medicare Part D has identified more than 700 physicians who have “extremely” unusual practices—including writing suspiciously high numbers of prescriptions, often for Schedule II and III drugs.

Schedule II drugs include methadone, oxycodone, and fentanyl, and Schedule III drugs include products that combine non-prescription analgesics, such as paracetamol, with lower dosages of hydrocodone and codeine. Overprescription of these substances is seen as the major cause of the increasing abuse of prescription drugs in the United States.

The investigation was conducted by …

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