NY Audit Finds Painkiller Prescription Errors, Inconsistencies

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012  |  Updated 12:09 PM EDT
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New York auditors say they uncovered 325,000 errors and inconsistencies in prescriptions for painkillers and other commonly abused drugs in a review of 28.5 million prescriptions dispensed over 15 months.

The audit says the state Health Department's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement has tightened processes but it still faults poor controls over unused prescription forms and inconsistent bureau inspection practices.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the bureau needs to pursue new ways to prevent, detect and prosecute prescription fraud.

The painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone and the sleep drug Ambien accounted for nearly half the drugs improperly acquired.

The audit shows 130,000 prescriptions with an invalid Drug Enforcement Administration number not matching the prescriber. Another 180,000 prescription numbers appeared twice, indicating they were filled at multiple locations or with inconsistent information.

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