Gov. Scott Walker
Press Release

Latest Report Highlights 20 Percent Decrease in Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed from 2015 to 2017

The report highlights that in 2017 there were 4,066,083 opioid prescriptions dispensed compared to 5,105,729 in 2015.

By - Mar 2nd, 2018 08:50 am

Pills by Tom Varco (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Pills by Tom Varco (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

MADISON – The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) today released the latest report from the Controlled Substances Board (CSB) on the gains being made by the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The report highlights that in 2017 there were 4,066,083 opioid prescriptions dispensed compared to 5,105,729 in 2015. That’s a 20 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions dispensed from 2015 to 2017, or 1,039,646 fewer prescriptions.

“Wisconsin is committed to combatting the opioid crisis and our latest report shows that our reforms are working,” Governor Walker stated. “A 20 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions shows how seriously our prescribers and law enforcement take the opioid epidemic, and I remain committed to ensuring they have the tools and resources necessary to continue their good work.”

In addition to the decrease in opioid prescriptions, the report also highlights:

  • 26 percent decrease in the number of hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills dispensed in 2017 compared to 2015 dispensing data, or 25,445,488 fewer pills.
  • 13 percent decrease in benzodiazepine prescriptions dispensed in 2017 compared to 2015 dispensing data, or 307,461 fewer prescriptions.
  • 47 percent decrease in the average monthly doctor shopping alerts when comparing 2017 data to 2015 data. From October 1 – December 31, 2017 there was an average of 14,535 alerts per month compared to January 1 – March 31, 2015 with an average of 27,248 alerts per month.

“As I travel the state, I continue to hear how the PDMP is a tool that is changing the health care provided in Wisconsin for the better,” said DSPS Secretary Laura Gutiérrez. “Furthermore, this report highlights the gains that can be made when government and stakeholders partner together for a better Wisconsin.”

The report also includes information on the number of requests for data made by health care professionals about their patients and the number and makeup of reports submitted by law enforcement.

The Wisconsin PDMP was deployed in June 2013 and is administered by DSPS. Since its inception, the PDMP has primarily been a tool to help health care professionals make more informed decisions about prescribing and dispensing controlled substance prescriptions to patients. It also discloses data as authorized by law to governmental and law enforcement agencies. It stores over 50 million prescription records submitted by over 2,000 pharmacies and dispensing practitioners, with an average of over 19,000 queries performed each day between October 1 and December 31, 2017.

Click here for a copy of the CSB report.

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