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New report shows continued progress in opioid abuse fight

The latest quarterly report from the state’s Controlled Substances Board (CSB) on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) shows continued progress in the state’s fight against opioids abuse and addiction. Released Monday, the report shows a 5 percent drop in opioids dispensed in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. The overall reduction is almost 30 percent since the first quarter of 2015.

The report also shows a 17 percent reduction in “concerning patient history alerts” over the last 12 months; those alerts are part of the enhanced PDMP system and include data points such as doctor shopping/pharmacy hopping, early refills of opioid prescriptions, a high current daily dose of opioids and concurrent opioid/benzodiazepine prescriptions.

“While we still have much more work to do fighting the opioid crisis, there are many positives in the latest report,” said Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA. “Continued collaboration among physicians, other health care professionals and state policymakers will result in wise public policy and strategies that can help prevent addiction and help those who have become addicted.”

The report also shows results from a user satisfaction survey of 30,000 ePDMP participants in April 2018. About 6,000 responses were received, including from more than 2,600 physicians. Some of the survey’s key findings:

  • 77 percent said they were either “Very satisfied” or “Satisfied” with the ePDMP; 11 percent were neutral.
  • 44 percent spoke with a patient about opioid use due to ePDMP results.
  • 37 percent indicated they had denied or modified a prescription based on ePDMP information.
  • 24 percent were compelled to contact another health care professional upon viewing a patient’s ePDMP data.
  • 34 percent said the ePDMP data on a patient indicated a prescription that was undisclosed by the patient.

“When the legislature proposed mandatory checks of the ePDMP, the Society led the push to ensure that the system should be easy to use and result in useful data,” said Society lobbyist Mark Grapentine, JD. “There’s always room to improve, but these survey results square with what we’ve heard from physicians around the state: the ePDMP is useful, it’s not too terrible to access, and it’s helping physicians take better care of their patients.

“We’ll keep working with the state to make sure physicians’ input and suggestions continue to be honored,” he added.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Government Relations Department for more information.

Back to August 2, 2018 Medigram