A Georgia state bill requiring healthcare providers to log opioid prescriptions in a state database passed a committee vote last week. The bill would make healthcare providers criminally liable for failing to keep track of the opioid prescriptions they write.

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An improved PDMP … with accurate and timely data analysis should be regarded as the cornerstone of our collective efforts to address prescription drug abuse.

Department of Public Health

A study was conducted to estimate the societal costs of prescription opioid abuse, dependence, and misuse in the United States. Costs were grouped into three categories: health care, workplace, and criminal justice.

The results: Total US societal costs of prescription opioid abuse were estimated at $55.7 billion in 2007 (USD in 2009). Workplace costs accounted for $25.6 billion, health care costs accounted for $25.0 billion, and criminal justice costs accounted for $5.1 billion. Workplace costs were driven by lost earnings from premature death ($11.2 billion) and reduced compensation/lost employment ($7.9 billion).

Conclusions: The costs of prescription opioid abuse represent a substantial and growing economic burden for the society. The increasing prevalence of abuse suggests an even greater societal burden in the future.

Pain Medicine, Volume 12, Issue 4, April 2011
Prescription Advisory Systems & Technology

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