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State-by-state data shows opioids regulations in most

By Louise Esola 

As of 2020 most states have regulations on prescribing and managing opioids, but fewer than half have in place such protective measures as drug formularies and mandated drug rehabilitation, according to a report released Tuesday by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.

Researchers with the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization gathered data from all 50 states on recent laws, prescribing guidelines and such programs as prescription monitoring for controlled substances to measure how states have been managing the opioid crisis and the emergence of medical marijuana laws.

The report found all but six states have limits on how many opioids can be prescribed and for how long. All but one state has in place a statewide, mandated prescription drug monitoring program; Missouri made its PDMP optional, but data shows that 80% of the state’s population lives in a municipality that keeps track of prescriptions, according to the report.

While most states have in place prescribing guidelines, only 15 have drug formularies, or approved drug lists, for workers compensation, according to the report.

The report also shows a lag in drug abuse treatment options, as only 17 states definitively include “mental health services” for “drug rehabilitation” in workers comp statutes.

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