Ohio opioid prescribing declines


COLUMBUS– Opioid prescribing in Ohio declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2016, according to a newly released report from the State Board of Pharmacy’s Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS).

Between 2012 and 2016, the total number of opioids dispensed to Ohio patients decreased by 162 million doses or 20.4 percent, from a peak of 793 million doses to 631 million doses. The number of opioid prescriptions provided to Ohio patients decreased by 20 percent during the same period.

The report finds a 78.2 percent decrease in the amount of people engaged in the practice of doctor shopping since 2012. Additionally, the use of OARRS continued to increase, reaching an all-time high of 24.11 million requests in 2016.

“This report highlights the state’s continued efforts to promote best practices when treating patients with prescription opioids” said State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven W. Schierholt. “I am confident that such best practices, including the use of OARRS, will further decrease opioid prescribing and expose fewer Ohioans to these potentially addictive medications.”

Established in 2006, OARRS is the only statewide database that collects information on all prescriptions for controlled substances that are dispensed by pharmacies and personally furnished by licensed prescribers in Ohio. OARRS data is available to prescribers when they treat patients, pharmacists when presented with prescriptions from patients and law enforcement officers during active drug-related investigations.

“Ohio has one of the most comprehensive approaches to address the responsible prescribing of opioid pain relievers. The progress shown in these data illustrate that our partnership with prescribers is helping to reduce opportunities for prescription opioid misuse and addiction,” said Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

The complete 2016 OARRS Annual Report can be accessed by visiting: www.pharmacy.ohio.gov/OARRS2016.

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