Individual Effects of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs: How Prescriber Information Targets Misusers While Preserving Access for Treatment of Legitimate Pain

39 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019 Last revised: 5 Dec 2019

See all articles by Justine Mallatt

Justine Mallatt

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Office of the Chief Economist

Date Written: December 3, 2019

Abstract

All US states have implemented Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), state-level databases that track patient prescription histories of controlled substances. The programs afford new information to doctors, who can use the databases to identify which of their patients are using opioids legitimately and which patients are likely drug-seeking in order to misuse their prescriptions. This paper combines claims-level data from three insurance sources (employer-sponsored, Medicare and Medicaid) to identify the effects of the optional-access PDMP on opioid prescription amounts within individuals over time in the context of a difference-in-differences framework. The aggregate effectiveness of the optional-access PDMP varies across insured populations, but greatly reduces opioid amounts dispensed through Medicaid, likely due to differing compositions of opioid use and misuse within the employer-insured, Medicare and Medicaid populations. Individual-level evidence shows that optional-access PDMPs successfully target the opioid users who display behavior that may indicate opioid misuse, and cause their prescribed opioid amounts to fall by 20-40%.

Keywords: PDMP, opioid, opioids, prescription drug monitoring program, opioid crisis, opioid epidemic, opioid policy, pharmaceutical, drugs, drug abuse, opioid abuse, must-access PDMP, Medicaid, Medicare, health claims, insurance, overdose, opioid overdose, prescriptions, prescription opioids, oxycodone

JEL Classification: I18, I12, I13, K42, H75, H12

Suggested Citation

Mallatt, Justine, Individual Effects of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs: How Prescriber Information Targets Misusers While Preserving Access for Treatment of Legitimate Pain (December 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3411199 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3411199

Justine Mallatt (Contact Author)

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Office of the Chief Economist ( email )

1441 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20910
United States

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