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March 11, 2020

Disappointing Early Results From Opioid Prescribing Limits for Acute Pain

Author Affiliations
  • 1Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network, Ann Arbor
  • 3Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. Published online March 11, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.5891

Between 2016 and 2019, the United States experienced a rapid proliferation of limits restricting the duration or number of doses in opioid prescriptions for acute pain.1 As of October 2019, such limits have been enacted by 34 states; large payers, such as Medicare, several state Medicaid programs, Aetna, and UnitedHealth; pharmacy chains, such as Sam’s Club/Walmart; and major pharmacy benefit managers, such as CVS CareMark, ExpressScripts, and OptumRx, which collectively manage drug benefits for 180 million Americans.

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