Postmarketing surveillance for drug abuse

Cynthia L. Arfken, Theodore J. Cicero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Assessing actual abuse of prescribed medications requires postmarketing surveillance. In this article we discuss general systems of postmarketing surveillance that exist as of the end of 2002 in the United States and two medication-specific surveillance systems that were devised and tested. The two specific surveillance systems are compared with limitations highlighted. Postmarketing surveillance is in its infancy and requires more research on ways to improve its validity without inducing illicit experimentation. Information on comparator medications is highly recommended both to validate the system and to place the results in context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S97-S105
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jun 5 2003


  • Abuse liability
  • Postmarketing surveillance
  • Prescription medications

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