UMMS Affiliation

Commonwealth Medicine, Center for Health Policy and Research; Commonwealth Medicine, Clinical Pharmacy Services

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Economics | Health Law and Policy | Health Policy | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Pharmaceutical Preparations | Pharmacy Administration, Policy and Regulation | Substance Abuse and Addiction | Therapeutics


This pilot program was developed in response to a drug utilization review within a large Medicaid population that revealed some hazardous practices. Co-prescribing of opioids with benzodiazepines, gabapentin, and other stimulants occurred in more than 500 members, putting them at risk for additive central nervous system depression, misuse, abuse, and death from overdose.

The poster presentation outlines the objectives, methods, and results of a telephonic outreach program that addressed these safety concerns. It captures prescriber awareness of the presence and risks of potentially deadly medication combinations among members in their care, with some intriguing results.

Our experts provide health plans with framework and support to address the opioid epidemic head on with robust opioid medication management programs, evidence-based clinical guidelines, and prescriber outreach. Our interdisciplinary team’s innovative approach helps health plans decrease inappropriate opioid usage and while ensuring members maintain access to appropriate pain management. This presentation was given at the American Drug Utilization Review Society (ADURS) conference February 22-24, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona.


pilot program, Medicaid, co-prescribing, opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, additive central nervous system depression, drug abuse, overdose, opioid epidemic, pain management, American Drug Utilization Review Society

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© 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

American Drug Utilization Review Society Conference 2018