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Comprehensive Initiative Has Positive Impact on Opioid Rx

Reductions in all tracked outcomes, including 95% drop in brand name opioid-acetaminophen products

prescription

TUESDAY, Aug. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive initiative, including creation of prescribing and dispensing policies, monitoring and follow-up processes, and clinical coordination through electronic health record integration, can have a positive impact on opioid prescribing, according to research published online July 14 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Jan L. Losby, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues report on the implementation of policy and practice interventions and their impact on opioid prescribing. Data were included from 3,203,880 Kaiser Permanente Southern California members, age 18 years and older.

The researchers identified reductions in all tracked outcomes after intervention, including a 30 percent decrease in prescribing opioids at high doses. Other reductions included the number of prescriptions with quantities greater than 200 pills (98 percent reduction), the combination of an opioid prescription with benzodiazepines and carisoprodol (90 percent), the prescribing of long-acting/extended-release opioids (72 percent), and the prescribing of brand name opioid-acetaminophen products (95 percent). During this period there was no increase in methadone prescribing.

"This study adds promising results that a comprehensive system-level strategy has the ability to positively affect opioid prescribing," the authors write. "The basic components of the intervention are generalizable and applicable to other health care settings."

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