Data Impact Challenge Question 4

Question 4: Does pharmacist access to a patient’s dispensed medication history at the time of dispensing affect the rate of inappropriate prescriptions for opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines?

A 2012 article by Dormuth et al. in British Columbia found that “The implementation of a centralized prescription network was associated with a dramatic reduction in inappropriate, filled prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines.” With such networks of medication information now available and in use across many provinces and territories (see Infoway 2013/14 annual report), more evidence is required to assess the impact on inappropriate prescriptions in other provinces and territories. The full article, including the specifics of the algorithm to identify a potentially inappropriate prescription having been filled, can be found here.

Guiding Specifications

The analysis will provide the following potentially inappropriate prescription rate (numerator/denominator below) for both pre- and post-go-live of a provincial or territorial drug information system (centralized prescription network).

Required metrics
 Total prescriptions deemed inappropriate applying the inappropriate prescription algorithm described by Dormuth et al.
Total prescriptions with denominator as per Dormuth et al.
Minimum sample size of 100,000 prescriptions in denominator
Analysis should include at least one year of data prior to the deployment year of the provincial/territorial drug information system (centralized prescription network) and at least one year following the deployment year. Deployment years for fully deployed known systems include: Manitoba (1994), Alberta (2008), Saskatchewan (2008), PEI (2008).