Opioid prescribing dips in 2017

The percent of opioids prescribed in 2017 and the number of patients receiving opioid prescriptions have dropped significantly since mandatory reporting prescription requirements went into effect last year, according to a report sent to the Alaska State Legislature this week.

In 2017, opioid prescriptions dropped 10 from 2016, and 13 percent fewer prescriptions were given out overall, according to numbers complied in the 2018 Alaska Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Report to the 30th Alaska State Legislature.

The number of individual patients receiving a opioid prescription declined 10 percent — from 150,600 in 2016 to 135,362 in 2017, according to the report.

Compiled through the Alaska Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the data build a more detailed picture of use and distribution of controlled substances in Alaska and allow policymakers to better understand changes in clinical decision making, according to a press release issued by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

The monitoring program was established in 2008. A 2017 update to the law mandated new registration, review and reporting processes.

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