Statewide opioid laws reduce opioid prescriptions

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The enactment of the Michigan Opioid Laws led to a reduction in opioid prescriptions for oculoplastic and orbital procedures, according to a study published n JAMA Ophthalmology.

In 2017 and 2018, Michigan enacted several laws aimed to curb the state’s opioid epidemic by requiring prescribers to review a patients’ history of opioid use and to obtain written consent after informing patients on opioid use/disposal before prescribing.

In this cross-sectional study, 3781 patients who underwent oculoplastic and orbital procedures between June 1, 2016, and November 30, 2019, included. Before the law was enacted in June 2018, a total of 2026 patients in the study underwent surgery, with 88% prescribed postoperative opioids. After June 1, 2018, only 50% of the 1755 patients in the study who underwent surgery were prescribed postoperative opioids.

There was a 36.2% reduction in mean total morphine milligram equivalents of opioid prescriptions between June 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018.

The authors concluded that “Similar statewide or national legislations aimed at increasing prescriber awareness and patient education on opioid use may help curtail the prescription opioid epidemic.

Xie Y, Joseph AW, Rudy SF, et al. Change in postoperative opioid prescribing patterns for oculoplastic and orbital procedures associated with state opioid legislation. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online December 10, 2020. DOI:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.5446

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