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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 03

J Prev (2022)

Leveraging the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to Curb Opioid Prescribing in Arkansas.


Hayes CJ, Goree J, Turpin J, Ortiz H, Smith RG, Gokarakonda SB, Hyde C, Cucciare MA
J Prev (2022). 2022 Feb 03.
PMID: 35286546.


Effective means of accurately identifying problematic opioid prescribing are needed. Using an iterative approach with the Arkansas State Medical Board Pain Subcommittee, we modified existing opioid prescriber criteria to create seven metrics to be deployed in Arkansas. These included metrics of dose and days' supply, concomitant use of opioid and benzodiazepines, solid dosage units, and numbers of opioid patients and certain opioid prescriptions. Two of these metrics (average MME daily dose per prescription and total oxycodone 30 mg or hydromorphone prescriptions) were weighted by 2, creating a maximum score of 9 of which each prescriber could receive. Twenty prescribers with a score of 7 or greater were identified and referred to the Arkansas State Medical Board Pain Subcommittee for review and subsequent investigation if deemed necessary. Of those 20 prescribers, four were previously investigated and under disciplinary action, and three were under current investigation for misconduct related to prescribing practices. Five prescribers had new investigations opened due to the findings from the metrics, and disciplinary action was taken. Therefore, 12 of the 20 prescribers referred to the Arkansas State Medical Board were deemed worthy of investigation and disciplinary action. The Arkansas opioid prescriber metrics are able to accurately identify prescribers with potentially problematic opioid prescribing.