Study: Pill mill crackdown has reduced opioid Rxs in Florida

August 31, 2015

Florida’s crackdown on pill mills has resulted in decreases in opioid prescriptions, according to an online study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Florida’s crackdown on pill mills has resulted in decreases in opioid prescriptions, according to an online study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study compares prescription painkiller data in Florida and Georgia from July 2010 to September 2012.

See also: Feds targeting Indiana pill mill doctors, pharmacists

In 2010, Florida legislators passed a law that pain clinics had to be registered with the state, and that doctors could no longer dispense painkillers from their offices.

A year later, the state implemented a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) that allowed doctors and pharmacies to better scrutinize a patient’s prescription history.

Following the new law and the PDMP, the number of opioid prescriptions written in Florida decreased 1.4%.

Lainie Rutkow, one of the study’s authors who is an associate professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, called the drop in opioid prescriptions “promising.”

 

“The declines that we saw were equal to something in the range of 500,000 5 mg tabs of Vicodin per month,’’ Rutkow told WLRN. “So that’s a lot of pills. And from a policy perspective, understanding that in the first year, we are seeing a declining trend that can be attributed to these laws certainly points the way toward future research to see what happened then in years two, three and four.”

In 2010, doctors throughout Florida sold almost 46 million oxycodone tablets. In 2011, that number declined 97% to 1.2 million pills.