Strong Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs May Reduce Opioid Use

June 11, 2018

The journal Health Affairs recently published a study by a team including professor of health care policy (statistics) Alan Zaslavsky, PhD, that examined the effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).

The study analyzed the effects of robust PDMPs in Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, and New York, finding that these states’ PDMPs have contributed to significantly reduced opioid dosages and fills. Kentucky saw the greatest reductions, with a 20-40% relative reduction in prescriptions for high opioid dosages relative to comparison populations in other states.

In conclusion, the stronger PDMPs may be able to significantly reduce opioid dosages dispensed, percentages of patients receiving opioids, and high-risk prescribing. These findings should encourage other states to strengthen their prescription drug monitoring plans using the features identified as effective in these states. This study has been featured in the University of Michigan News and Medical Xpress.