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Drug Utilization Review (DUR)

What is Drug Utilization Review (DUR)?

Drug Utilization Review (DUR) is a process by which healthcare entities can ensure they are properly prescribing, dispensing, and making use of prescription medication. The primary goals of DUR are to prevent unwanted adverse reactions, help patients understand alternative treatment options, and put a stop to certain prescriptions if issues arise during treatment. DUR is mandated by the Social Security Act for all patients enrolled in Medicare.

DUR considers many aspects of a patient’s health, especially other medications that may interact with a new treatment option. DUR is a dynamic process, meaning that along with providing initial guidance when treatments are prescribed or distributed, the process also considers future changes in a patient’s lifestyle as well as direct feedback from the patient. Furthermore, DUR evaluations may be required to ensure the patient continues to receive high-quality care.

Why is Drug Utilization Review (DUR) important in healthcare?

Considering how impactful prescription medication can be on a patient’s health, DUR is of utmost importance to ensure the patient does not suffer due to a well-meaning prescription recommendation from a healthcare professional. Requiring a formal review of a new medication ideally ensures that no stone is left unturned, and that there are multiple precautions in place to catch potential problems before the patient begins treatment.

DUR reviews can uncover reasons a patient should stop taking a treatment. Problematic interactions between new drugs that the patient has been prescribed, discontinued medical necessity or appropriateness, and incorrect dosing recommendations can be uncovered during DUR and lead to changes in a patient’s treatment plan.