Impact of State Laws Restricting Opioid Duration on Characteristics of New Opioid Prescriptions
With opioid-related overdose deaths in the USA reaching 50,000 in 2017,1 federal and state governments have struggled to respond to this growing crisis. Because nearly half of these deaths involve a prescription opioid, there is growing interest in limiting the amount of opioid dispensed to opioid-naïve patients.2 In March 2016, Massachusetts (MA) became the first state to restrict opioid duration for opioid-naïve patients to seven days, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.3 Connecticut (CT) and New-York (NY) implemented similar legislation later that year. Currently, 33 states either have implemented or are in the process of implementation similar legislation. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of these laws—in the three states that implemented them in 2016—on the characteristics of new opioid prescriptions.
The study utilized de-identified Optum© Clinformatics® Datamart (January 2014–September 2017), a commercial claims database. The...
This study was funded by the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Dr. Patorno was supported by a career development grant (K08AG055670) from the National Institute on Aging. Work on this topic from Drs. Kesselheim, Sarpatwari, and Dave was also supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Drs. Kesselheim and Sarpatwari are also supported by the Harvard Program in Therapeutic Science and the Engelberg Foundation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.
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