Opioid prescriptions down 12% in Pennsylvania: 4 things to know

After implementing new regulations, Pennsylvania physicians prescribed 12 percent fewer opioids in the third quarter of 2017 than they did in the same period one year prior, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here are four things to know about the lowered prescription rate.

1. In August 2016 Pennsylvania instituted a prescription drug monitoring program, which requires physicians check patient drug histories on the database before prescribing any opioids.

2. Since the program's implementation, the number of patients getting prescriptions from five or more physicians has decreased by 86 percent.

3. The system receives over 53,000 physician inquiries each day.

4. In 2016, 4,642 Pennsylvania residents died from drug overdoses, up 37 percent from the previous year.

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