WCRI has published a new study, The Impact of Physician Dispensing on Opioid Use, which indicates that physician-dispensing in Florida encouraged some physicians to unnecessarily prescribe “strong” opioids. The study analyzed the prescribing behavior after Florida banned physician dispensing of strong opioids. According to the release from WCRI, the researchers expected little change in the percentage of patients getting strong opioids—only a change from physician-dispensed to pharmacy-dispensed. However, instead of finding an increase in pharmacy-dispensed strong opioids, the study found no material change. Rather, there was an increase in the percentage of patients receiving physician-dispensed weaker pain medications—specifically, NSAIDs—from 24.1 percent to 25.8 percent, and the percentage receiving weaker (not banned) opioids increased from 9.1 percent to 10.1 percent. WCRI also found high compliance with the prohibition.
Read an overview and purchase a copy of this study from WCRI here.