The Atlantic's Take on Our Fight to End Rx Abuse

Feb 22, 2013
The Atlantic ran an article today detailing how Express Scripts is using Big Data to catch abusers of prescription narcotics.

The Atlantic ran an article today detailing how Express Scripts is using Big Data to help curb the abuse of prescription narcotics, and to identify the fraudulent physicians and pharmacies that support the drug-seeking behavior.

From Alexis Madrigal’s interview with our employees Jo-Ellen Abou Nader and Michael Klein, here’s one of the more alarming cases:

The most complex case Nader and Klein told me about revolved around a single doctor who doled out 22,000 pills of narcotics to 30 people. That's $4.6 million of drugs. The doc was smart, too: he changed the strengths of the prescriptions he was writing so that simple reviews of his data might miss that he was giving massive number of pills to patients.

While the first sentence is shocking, it’s the last sentence that may be the most important. Without Express Scripts’ actionable data, this is the sort of case that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Express Scripts manages the pharmacy benefit for approximately 100 million Americans – that’s nearly 1.4 billion prescriptions each year. Few other organizations possess the nationwide reach, predictive analytics and key partnerships needed to fight this epidemic.

For more on our approach, see our infographic.

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