The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) said on Tuesday that it has endorsed three new measures to assess the use of opioids from more than one provider or high dosages prescribed to noncancer patients.
PQA officials hope the new measures will help fight prescription opioid abuse and overdoses.
“The PQA measures are an important addition to ongoing efforts to address this epidemic,” PQA said.
The first of the measures studies those without cancer getting prescriptions for opioids at doses that could be harmful or inappropriate. The second focuses on those who are receiving opioids from more than one medical provider or pharmacy and aims to decrease uncoordinated care (also known as "doctor shopping"). The last measure includes portions from the first two measures and will identify misuse, abuse or inappropriate prescribing in general.
The PQA measures were designed for five health plans: one commercial plan, three Medicare Advantage plans and one stand-alone prescription drug plan.
To develop the measures, PQA partnered with RxAnte, Aetna and WellCare.