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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2017||The Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Opioid Utilization in Medicare|
with Thomas C. Buchmueller: w23148
The misuse of prescription opioids has become a serious epidemic in the US. In response, states have implemented Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), which record a patient's opioid prescribing history. While few providers participated in early systems, states have recently begun to require providers to access the PDMP under certain circumstances. We find that "must access" PDMPs significantly reduce measures of misuse in Medicare Part D. In contrast, we find that PDMPs without such provisions have no effect. We find stronger effects when providers are required to access the PDMP under broad circumstances, not only when they are suspicious.