Because painkiller prescriptions are written by primary care physicians or pain specialists, patients may perceive that they are receiving credible treatment, not realizing the risks of misuse or abuse, and assume that pills are safe to take for any reason and under any circumstance.

Wisconsin Touts Successful Prescription Monitoring Program

The second Controlled Substances Board report shows there was an 11.7 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions and a 13.3 percent reduction in drug doses dispensed in the final quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

This week the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services released the second report from the Controlled Substances Board, showing how successful the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has been: Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016, the number of opioid doses dispensed decreased by more than 11 million from the same quarter of 2015.

"This report indicates our efforts throughout Wisconsin to fight prescription drug abuse and misuse are working," Gov. Scott Walker said. "We remain committed to creating a safe state for all our citizens, and we will not stop until the number of opioid overdose deaths in Wisconsin is down to zero."

The agency reports there were 1,261,095 opioid prescriptions dispensed in Wisconsin between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015, the equivalent of 82,874,267 drug doses. The second CSB report shows there was an 11.7 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions and a 13.3 percent reduction in drug doses dispensed in the final quarter of 2016 compared with the 2015 quarter, and in comparison to the CSB's first report released in October, there were 3,142,961 fewer opioid doses dispensed in the fourth quarter of 2016 than in the third quarter of 2016. The report includes information on the number of requests for data made by health care professionals about their patients, reports submitted by law enforcement, data on doctor shopping and pharmacy hopping, and the number of individuals receiving both opioids and benzodiazepine prescriptions.

"The PDMP is a program that we are incredibly proud of," said DSPS Acting Secretary Eric Esser. "We are hopeful that with the tools available in the new enhanced PDMP, we continue to enable health care professionals to make informed prescribing decisions."

The Wisconsin PDMP program started in June 2013 and is administered by DSPS. It stores more than 48 million prescription records submitted by some 2,000 pharmacies and dispensing practitioners, with an average of nearly 5,000 queries performed daily.

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