Physician Dispensaries Opt Out Of Opioids – A Good Sign
Physician dispensaries Opt Out due to a strict ban in Florida Florida has endured an epidemic of the improper use of opioids. They have been discussed to the nth degree in Workers Compensation.
One of the most prevalent voices against improper use of opioids has been Mark Walls in his Workers Comp Analysis Group on LinkedIn . The group has many articles and discussion on opioids. If you have not joined the group, you are missing out on the hot topics in WC.
The State of Florida decided to ban WC physician dispensing on opioids that was likely due to numerous television shows on pill mills in Florida. Florida sometimes seems to come up with very bad rulings on WC cases. However, this was a great way to cut opioid use.
What do you think happened? According to WCRI in its very informative report , Impact of Banning Physician Dispensing of Opioids in Florida , when opioids are banned, the physician dispensers switched away from opiates. The physicians also substituted in non-opiates instead of writing a RX to be dispensed at a pharmacy.
The lingering questions would be – why did the doctors prescribe opioids in the first place?
According to the study, “The ban on physician dispensing of stronger opioids, House Bill 7095, went into effect July 1, 2011. The study examined the medical care received by injured workers with injuries occurring prior to the law change and after the law change. Patients’ prescription histories were analyzed for the first 3–6 months after the injury. “
Some of the highlights from the study were:
- The study found a high rate of physician compliance with the ban. The percentage of workers receiving stronger opioids was 14.5 before the ban. This fell after the law change to 12.4 percent.
- There was an increase in the percentage of patients receiving physician-dispensed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen sodium)—from 23.8 percent of patients to 26.0 percent.
- “If this evidence is correct, it could shift the policy debate from whether or not there are substantial benefits to some patients from physician dispensing, to whether or not there are substantial harms to some patients from physician dispensing,” said Richard Victor, WCRI’s executive director.
- Victor cautioned that the results from this study are not definitive and could also be consistent with several other possible explanations. WCRI is planning an additional study that examines patients at a greater length of time from injury to provide more definitive information.
The next opioid study by WCRI should be very interesting as more data points can be obtained from the prescribing information.
©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice