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    Danger drugs

    Opioid Prescriptions Went Down in States with Drug Monitoring Mandates

    Almost every state has a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) in place, which has the goal of addressing the prescription opioid epidemic. But as of 2014, prescribers were not participating in the programs in large numbers, which lead some states to mandate that prescribers register with their state’s PDMP. A study published in Health Affairs has found that creating these mandates is an effective way to boost safer prescribing patterns. The authors analyzed aggregate Medicaid drug utilization data. They found that state mandates for prescriber registration or use of PDMPs that were adopted between 2011 and 2014 were associated with a reduction of 9 to 10% in the adjusted numbers of Schedule II opioid prescriptions and in the amounts of Medicaid spending on these prescriptions. This reduction was largely associated with mandated registration and not with mandated use rules, which were largely limited in scope or strength before 2015. Mandating registration with and use of PDMPs is “an effective and relatively low-cost policy,” the authors said.

    Wen H, et al.: States with prescription drug monitoring mandates saw a reduction in opioids prescribed to Medicaid enrollees. Health Affairs. April 2017 (36) 4733-4741. doi: 10.1377. 

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    Valerie DeBenedette
    Valerie DeBenedette is Managing Editor of Drug Topics.

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