Florida Drug Monitoring Program Leads to 25% Drop in Oxycodone Overdoses: Study

Deaths due to oxycodone overdoses declined 25 percent after Florida implemented its prescription drug monitoring program in 2011, according to a new study. The researchers attribute the drop directly to the program.

Oxycodone-related deaths in Florida increased 118.3 percent from 2007 to 2010, Medical Xpress reports. The rate began to decline in 2010 due to a variety of factors, including the introduction of abuse-deterrent oxycodone formulations, law enforcement crackdowns on “pill mills,” and a Florida law that imposed new penalties for physicians who overprescribe medication.

The prescription drug monitoring program led to an additional 25 percent decrease in oxycodone-related deaths, the University of Florida researchers report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The program monitors patients’ controlled substance prescriptions, and provides current data on prescribing trends in Florida.

“Forty-nine states have prescription drug monitoring programs of some kind, but this is the first study to demonstrate that one of these programs significantly reduced oxycodone-related deaths,” lead author Chris Delcher, PhD, said in a news release. “Our work fills an urgent need for rigorous evaluation of these programs, so we can see what is working and what could be done better to help save lives and improve patients’ health care.”

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    September 16, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    The latest statistics are available at the news section of the FL PDMP Foundation web site: http://www.flpdmpfoundation.com/news/

    We help raise awareness to fund the EFORCSE database, which enables the monitoring program. Sadly, we cannot eliminate Heroin in Florida, that is the role of law enforcement. But we can crack down on illegal pill mills.

    Individuals and organizations can donate any amount at our web site to help fund the program. We truly appreciate all support.

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    April 25, 2015 at 12:58 AM

    The problem with all these regulations is also the fact that those of us that actually need pain meds for a legitimate reason and don’t abuse them have extreme difficulty finding them at the pharmacy. The price has doubled and the pharmacies are limited on how many they can order. I’m thankful that the oxi overdose has came down, but as previously mentioned. The addicts just switch to what they can get.

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    April 18, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    The above description of what’s happening out there is totally correct. My Son was one of the opiate addicts kicked to the curb, BY DOCTORS. Our Family pulled together and three years later we’ve a achieved some goals. The drugs are gone, alcohol has taken there place so now we’re dealing with that and that too is getting better. There is HOPE but I have to say Doctors, Hospital and Humanity are letting these people down.

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    Linda De Rogatis

    April 17, 2015 at 6:02 PM

    The opiate monitoring program is intellence based. Gathering real data in real time on opiate prescriptions has proven to be good for GOOD doctors and innocent patients.

    We must move forward into the 21st Century and expand our usefulness. We already have the tools in place ( software programs, data connectibility, pharmacy recording already used for years. Now we must give GOOD doctors greater tools to sharpen their trade which is to help NOT harm patients.

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    Zac Talbott, CMA

    April 16, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    This hardly proves anything nor does it show the entire picture. Oxycodone deaths may be down because it has made doctor shopping harder (combined with other efforts to crack down on pill mills in Florida – this is hardly ALL due to the PDMP). But let’s look at HEROIN overdoses… They have gone up dramatically. And that’s the problem with this pro-PDMP push. Doctors realize their patients have a substance use disorder and kick them to the streets and largely give no referrals to treatment — and the treatments they do refer to are ineffective for opiate addiction (inpatient rehabs, etc. instead of the gold standard methadone or buprenorphine maintenance). So then these individuals, who are out on the streets not knowing what to do, switch over to HEROIN. And we’re seeing heroin deaths dramatically INCREASE. And there are now studies that show these PDMP’s are related to the rise in heroin overdose! This is hardly the entire story and one of the most misleading headlines to date.

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