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Official: Maine's High Painkiller Prescription Rate Due to Statistical Anomaly

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine officials are attributing a spike in painkillers prescriptions to a statistical anomaly at the Togus VA hospital.

A recent federal report highlighted the state's downward trend in doctors prescribing opioid-based prescription painkillers for the most part. The Kennebec Journal reports that prescription rates remained high in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Kurt Johnston, the VA Maine Health Care System chief of pharmacy services, says some of the data considered in the federal report was from prescriptions written at veterans clinics around the state, but dispensed and sent by mail from the Togus campus.