Harnessing Data to Get Ahead of a Public Health Crisis

Routine visits to the pharmacy took on new meaning—personally and professionally—for MITRE’s Jaya Tripathi in 2010. The analytics expert was helping a family member recover from a skiing accident and had to pick up the same pain medication every week for almost two months.


The experience inspired Tripathi to pursue a new research focus: fraud and abuse of prescription painkillers. Specifically, she wanted to better connect the dots among prescribers, pharmacists, and patients. Tripathi was already familiar with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), a system U.S. states use to track where, when, and in what dosages controlled substances are dispensed. She realized that PDMP data had untapped potential.

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