Report: Doctors prescribing less opioids


APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – The Wisconsin Medical Society says the state’s effort to fight the opioid epidemic is showing results.

A new report found about eight million fewer opioids were dispensed between July and September compared to the same time last year.

Wisconsin Medical Society says it’s doing more to help physicians monitor patients’ use of opioids by supporting the release an enhanced prescription drug monitoring program – or PDMP – in January.

“As this epidemic of opioid use and abuse has taken off it’s become clear that the need to use PDMP regularly has become obvious,” said Wisconsin Medical Society Chief Medical Officer Donn Dexter, MD.

The program allows doctors and pharmacists to enter prescription information in a statewide database to track who’s getting opioid medication.

Starting in April doctors will have to access the program and pharmacists will only have 24 hours to enter information instead of seven days.

“As we get the education efforts ramped up and share this message across the state with our member physicians and as the law goes into force absolutely this is going to have a much bigger effect on prescriptions,” said Dexter.

Mosaic in Appleton started using the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program when it came out in 2013.

“It gives you an update in case they (patients) are going from doctor to doctor for more prescriptions, it keeps them on the straight and level,” said Mosaic Family Health’s Dr. Deborah Schultz.

Mosaic believes the program won’t keep doctors from prescribing opioids, rather it will allow them to provide the right medicine for the situation

“There really truly is a balance, we know now from evidence that the use of opioids for chronic pain long term does not improve outcomes, in an acute settings you may need them,” said Schultz.