Written Opioid Prescriptions Down 10% in Wisconsin

November 10, 2016

A state system to track prescription painkillers in Wisconsin to prevent abuse shows a nearly 10 percent drop in the number of opioid prescriptions written and filled compared to this time last year.

Wisconsin’s Controlled Substance Board recently published its first quarterly report on the prescription drug monitoring database, which was established in 2013, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

Gov. Scott Walker said the findings are “very encouraging.”

The report does not say what percentage of doctors, dentists or pharmacists check the database, but officials said its use has steadily increased. Doctors will be required to check it next year.

The Wisconsin Medical Society’s chief medical officer, Donn Dexter, said the organization is working to educate physicians on the database and get them ready for the mandates.

A year after the database started in 2014 only 30 percent of pharmacists used the database and 8 percent of doctors. Dexter said with the new database implemented in January that number is sure to go up.

“The reason it wasn’t used is I think our doctors are already very busy,” Dexter said.

He said it is challenging to implement because it’s difficult to use.

The purpose of the database is to crackdown on patients getting various prescriptions from doctors and filling the same prescription with multiple pharmacists.

“One thing that the Medical Society is working hard on is that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far; so that patients that need pain control still get pain control,” said Dexter.

Law enforcement also uses the database most commonly for stolen prescriptions.

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