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Laws affecting prescriptions such as opioids is a “fast moving” area of regulation, according to a comprehensive report released Thursday by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute.
WCRI’s 94-page report provides information on what researchers found to be some of the most prominent prescription drug issues comp stakeholders are concerned about in 2018 — issues that affect injured workers in all 50 states.
Among the most common changes are the rules for limiting and monitoring opioid prescriptions, with 34 states now requiring doctors to perform certain tasks before prescribing, the report highlights. Medical marijuana regulations in 30 states are another area to watch, the report states.
Workers comp drug formularies are also highlighted, as 10 states now have a detailed list of what physicians can and cannot prescribe to injured workers in the comp system, according to the report.
Prescription drug monitoring programs are another trend, as all states as of 2018 have enacted such programs that aim to track opioid prescriptions, according to the report. Rules for drug testing and price regulations are also detailed in the report.
The report comes as a time when changes to prescribing rules calls for clarification, according to a statement released by WCRI.
“Across the country, states are grappling with an array of different regulatory strategies, overseen by different agencies, to address prescribing of medicine,” Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s executive vice president and counsel, said in the statement. “This report provides policymakers and system stakeholders with a basic understanding of the different strategies adopted by all states, and points to the regulations for those seeking more detail.”
BOSTON — While many questions about medical marijuana and workers compensation remain, economists are working to answer one: Will medical marijuana eventually lower the prescription drug spend for pain medications such as opioids?