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Association of State Opioid Prescription Duration Limits With Changes in Opioid Prescribing for Medicare Beneficiaries

Cramer JD, Gunaseelan V, Hu HM, Bicket MC, Waljee JF, Brenner MJ. Association of State Opioid Prescription Duration Limits With Changes in Opioid Prescribing for Medicare Beneficiaries. Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. Published online 9 August 2021. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.4281

  • Between March 2016 and July 2018, 23 states implemented legislation limiting the duration of initial opioid prescriptions to a maximum of 7 days (17 states limited to 7 days or less, 2 states to 5 days or less, and 4 states to 3 days or less).
  • State laws limiting opioid prescriptions to 7 day or less were associated with a reduction in opioid prescribing by 1.7 days per enrollee.
  • The state legislation on opioid prescribing primarily targets initial opioid prescriptions provided for acute pain, and we observed decreases that were most pronounced among surgeons and dentists.


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