Assessment of doctor-shopping for high dosage buprenorphine maintenance treatment in a French region: development of a new method for prescription database

Publié le 21 mars 2003

Pradel et al., Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 2004

  • Titre traduit : Evaluation de la polyprescription de traitement de substitution par Buprénorphine HD dans une région française : developpement d’une nouvelle méthode sur une base de remboursement
  • Auteurs : V. Pradel, X.Thirion, E. Ronfle, A. Masut, J. Micallef and B. Bégaud
  • Résumé :
    • Purpose: To assess the extent of doctor-shopping for buprenorphine maintenance therapy in a French region with a specific indicator.
    • Methods: Use of a quasi-exhaustive prescription database in a French region (information system of the French General Health Insurance Scheme). Extraction of all buprenorphine prescriptions between September 1999 and December 2000. Definition and calculation of three quantities for each patient: delivered, prescribed and doctor-shopping quantity. The calculation of these three quantities is done by an automated and reproducible method determining the overlaps in prescription periods of different physicians for a given patient. Calculation of the corresponding daily dose was done for each quantity.
    • Results: A total of 64 326 prescriptions of buprenorphine by 1313 physicians to 3259 patients were extracted. Quantities and doses were calculated for 2587 patients. The total doctor-shopping quantity represented 18.6% of the delivered quantity. Doctor-shopping involved a minority of patients and was highly concentrated: 87 patients with doctor-shopping doses superior to 16 mg/day were responsible for 45.4% of the total doctor-shopping quantity.
    • Conclusions: Doctor-shopping appears to be an important problem for buprenorphine maintenance treatment in France but may be resolved by regulatory interventions. The use of adequate indicators on prescription databases may help to limit the effects of such interventions on legitimate care. The method presented here may be used with slight adaptations for other medications to assess their abuse potential.
  • Référence : Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2004; 13: 473–481
  • Liens :
    • Résumé sur PubMed
    • Texte intégral sur + (accès restreint aux seuls Centres d’Addictovigilance)
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