The Importance of Data Source in Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Research

Health Services Research (online first 02 September 2020) https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.13548.

UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 20-26

17 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2020 Last revised: 28 Sep 2020

See all articles by Jill R. Horwitz

Jill R. Horwitz

UCLA School of Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Corey S. Davis

Network for Public Health Law

Lynn McClelland

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Rebecca Fordon

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Ellen Meara

Harvard School of Public Health

Date Written: September 2, 2020

Abstract

Objective: To develop a legal research protocol for identifying various measures of prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) start dates, apply the protocol to create a useable PDMP database, and test whether the different legal databases that are meant to contain the same information produce divergent results when used in an illustrative empirical exercise.

Data sources: Original research from state statutes, regulations, policy statements, and interviews; alternative PDMP data from the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws and Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System; claims from a 40 percent random sample of Medicare beneficiaries, 2006‐2014.

Study design: Collaborative research effort among a group of lawyers to develop protocol. Legal research to produce an original database of dates state PDMP laws: (a) were enacted, (b) became operational, and (c) required query before prescribing controlled substances. Descriptive analyses characterize differences in dates of enactment, operation, and must query requirements. Regression analyses estimating, for each beneficiary annually any opioid prescription received in a calendar year, among other measures. Estimates conducted on under age 65 and full Medicare population.

Data collection/extraction methods: PDMP legal databases were linked to annual Medicare claims.

Principal findings: An original database differs from commonly used, publicly available data. Outcomes tested depend on the measure of PDMP date used and differ by data source. Must‐query laws show the largest effects among all the laws tested.

Conclusions: Data choices likely have had large consequences for study results and may explain contradictory outcomes in prior research. Researchers must understand and report protocol for dates used in PDMP research to ensure that results are internally consistent and verifiable.

Keywords: legal epidemiology, medicare, Opioids, policy evaluation, prescribing behavior, regulation

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, K29, K32, K42

Suggested Citation

Horwitz, Jill R. and Davis, Corey S. and McClelland, Lynn and Fordon, Rebecca and Meara, Ellen, The Importance of Data Source in Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Research (September 2, 2020). Health Services Research (online first 02 September 2020) https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.13548., UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 20-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3693477

Jill R. Horwitz (Contact Author)

UCLA School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Corey S. Davis

Network for Public Health Law ( email )

Saint Paul, MN
United States

Lynn McClelland

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Rebecca Fordon

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Ellen Meara

Harvard School of Public Health ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ellen-meara/

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