There’s a new pharmaceutical drug diversion partner in town: The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI).

NADDI, the leading drug diversion training organization in the nation, brings members of the community together for education, networking and support opportunities, according to its website.

The recently-formed Nebraska chapter of NADDI has members from a variety of occupations and fields, including the Nebraska State Patrol, health care organizations and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), Joni Street, chapter president, said.

“We’re all here to prevent pharmaceutical and drug diversion problems,” Street said. “It’s always better if you know who you’re working with and if you know what your resources are.”

To share resources, the Nebraska chapter of NADDI partnered with BCBSNE to host a November lunch and learn at Blue Cross Centre with the Nebraska State Patrol. Investigators John Lukesh and C.J. Alberico presented at the event.

Lukesh shared pharmaceutical diversion trends, including common methods used to obtain prescriptions illegally and red flags to watch for, such as a customer using a pharmacy far from home or paying for a prescription with cash.

In 2018, the Nebraska State Patrol assisted in 41 drug diversion cases and made 11 arrests, Lukesh said. The investigator shared how NADDI members can contact the Nebraska State Patrol to report diversion.

“The sooner we can get to it, the easier it’s going to be to create a case,” Lukesh said.

Alberico shared details from two diversion cases she worked. Both cases have been adjudicated, and identifying details were kept private.

In the first case, the suspect altered the dates of multiple prescriptions to try to pick them up earlier. In the second case, the suspect doctor shopped, or visited several practitioners to obtain multiple prescriptions.

Adrian Czapla, BCBSNE manager of special investigations and provider audit, attended the lunch and learn. She said in an interview that BCBSNE is in the process of expanding its prescription drug utilization monitoring program to prevent misuse.

“The Lock-In Program restricts where prescriptions can be written and filled to reduce doctor shopping,” Czapla said. “We are proud to support NADDI’s mission of reducing pharmaceutical drug diversion.”

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