The Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Opioid Utilization in Medicare
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.
This research was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program. Anup Das provided excellent research assistance. The authors thank Jean Abraham, Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin, and seminar participants at Cornell University, the Midwestern Health Economic Conference, and the 2016 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Meeting. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- While prescription opioids are an effective analgesic, their use presents a risk of addiction and overdose. Deaths from...
Thomas C. Buchmueller & Colleen Carey, 2018. "The Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Opioid Utilization in Medicare," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 10(1), pages 77-112. citation courtesy of