Opioids – such as morphine, codeine, and oxycodone – are commonly prescribed to alleviate pain, however there have been increasing concerns regarding physical dependence and addiction. Other studies have found that prescription opioid abuse is the fastest growing form of drug abuse, however there is controversy regarding the level of risk for dependence in the general population.“One goal in doing this research, and based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ input was to examine how the actual practice patterns for treating pediatric headache were following American Academy of Neurology guidelines,” said Dr. Alan Rosenberg, WellPoint vice president for medical policy. “The general impression was that opioid prescriptions for this population would be low. When the results were obtained, we all felt it important to share this information with physicians and build awareness of the issue.” The study showed much higher rates of opioid prescription than rates of around 12 percent that had been reported previously. “We used both medical and pharmacy claims in our data gathering, which allowed for a more comprehensive capture of prescription drug use than medical record or facility-based studies,” said DeVries. “Based on this work, we believe previous studies may have underreported prescription rates.” About WellPoint WellPoint is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. We believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued health partner and delivering quality products and services that give members access to the care they need. With nearly 68 million people served by our affiliated companies including nearly 36 million enrolled in our family of health plans, we can make a real difference to meet the needs of our diverse customers. We’re an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We serve members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In most of these service areas, our plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in other states through our Amerigroup and CareMore subsidiaries. To find out more about us, go to wellpoint.com. About HealthCore HealthCore, based in Wilmington, Del., is the clinical outcomes research subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. HealthCore has a team of highly experienced researchers including physicians, biostatisticians, pharmacists, epidemiologists, health economists and other scientists who study the “real world” safety and effectiveness of drugs, medical devices and care management interventions. HealthCore offers insight on how to best use this data and communicates these findings to health care decision-makers to support evidence-based medicine, product development decisions, safety monitoring, coverage decisions, process improvement and overall cost-effective health care. For more information, go to www.healthcore.com.