The Impact of Physician Dispensing on Opioid Use

By Vennela Thumula

December 1, 2014 Related Topics: Physician Dispensing, Prescription Drugs and Opioids

This study examined changes in physician prescribing and dispensing of opioids for newly injured workers after the implementation of a ban on physician dispensing of Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances in Florida. The findings of this study are based on Florida data, but the lessons may apply to other states where physician dispensing is common. Florida’s House Bill (HB) 7095 went into effect on July 1, 2011.

This study analyzed data on the medications dispensed for injured workers covered by the Florida workers’ compensation program. It included both open and closed Florida claims. The claims were divided into two groups: pre-reform, with dates of injury from January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2010 (prior to the July 1, 2011, effective date of the ban) and post-reform, with dates of injury from July 1, 2011, to December 30, 2011 (immediately after the ban). The data included 24,567 claims with 59,564 prescriptions in the pre-reform group and 21,625 claims with 52,747 prescriptions in the post-reform group.

The Impact of Physician Dispensing on Opioid Use. Vennela Thumula. December 2014. WC-14-56.

Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

1. Should changes in physician dispensing rules be limited to the price of physician-dispensed drugs?

2. Will a ban on physician-dispensed opioids reduce the use of opioids or merely change the location at which the prescriptions are filled?

3. Should physician dispensing be permitted in general?

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