The amount of opioids and other controlled substances prescribed in Ohio continued to drop last year.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy on Monday released its annual report on the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS).
OARRS collects information on all outpatient prescriptions for controlled substances, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, and the non-controlled substance gabapentin, a medication used for treating seizures and nerve pain.
Since November, OARRS also has allowed prescribers to monitor overdose risk in patients, and nearly 20,000 pharmacists and prescribers have direct access to OARRS.
For opioids, the number of prescribers, number of patients and number of prescriptions has dropped steadily since 2012, and restrictions on prescribing opioids for acute pain seem to be having an impact since they took effect in August according to the report.
The number of queries to OARRS last year was more than triple the number of queries in 2016, while the number of patients seeing multiple prescribers to illicitly obtain controlled substances dropped from 357 in 2016 to 273 last year.
Other findings in the report included:
Opioid solid doses dispensed dropped from 631 million doses in 2016 to 568 million doses last year.
Opioid prescriptions dispensed dropped from 10.1 million in 2016 to 9.3 million in 2017.
Benzodiazepine solid doses dispensed dropped from 254 million in 2016 to 233 million last year.
Benzodiazepine prescriptions dispensed dropped from 4.31 million in 2016 to 3.98 million last year.
OARRS queries jumped from 24.11 million in 2016 to 88.96 million last year. During the last quarter, the system averaged more than 430,000 queries a month.
The number of prescribers dispensing and patients getting opioids has steadily decreased since 2012.
Reach Shane at 330-580-8338 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @shooverREP