opioid epidemic

Programs dedicated to monitoring prescription drug use in Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and New York have significantly reduced opioid prescriptions, according to research published in Health Affairs.

All states have prescription drug monitoring programs, with the exception of Missouri, but some programs are more comprehensive than others, lead study author Rebecca Haffajee, PhD, assistant professor of health management policy at University of Michigan’s School of Public Health told Futurity.

Dr. Haffajee and her colleagues monitored prescription drug program laws to identify which states offered physicians the most  access to comprehensive and recent prescribing data. The researchers identified Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and New York as state’s with the most robust drug monitoring programs.

Out of all 50 states, Kentucky displayed the most  dramatic and consistent reduction in opioid prescriptions and dosages. After implementing a stricter drug monitoring program in 2012, the state experienced a 1.6 percent reduction in opioid fills by the end of 2014.