Opioid abuse drops in states with laws requiring physicians to look up patient prescription history

Laws requiring physicians to check a patient's drug history in state databases help lower opioid abuse incidence, according to a paper in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy by Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cornell University researchers.

The paper shows states that include "must access" opioid database laws experienced a drop in the number of Medicare recipients who got more than a seven-month supply of opioids in a six-month period. Additionally, there was a decline in the number of Medicare patients who filled a prescription before the previous prescription's supply had been used completely.

The paper also notes that "doctor shopping" rates dropped in the states with "must access" opioid database laws. The number of Medicare recipients who got prescriptions from five or more physicians fell by 8 percent and those who got opioids from five or more pharmacies dropped by more than 15 percent.

However, Medicare patients could bypass the state's laws entirely by traveling to a less-regulated state to get opioids.

Also, researchers note, that the research has some limitations since it only examines the Medicare population. It may not translate to the general population.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars