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Doctors prescribed fewer opioids after surgery, new study finds

Research conducted at Jacksonville's Mayo Clinic
Posted at 11:52 AM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 18:32:36-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida's fight against the opioid epidemic is seeing some signs of hope.

In a new study released Wednesday from the American Medical Association, researchers compared opioid prescribing before and after a state law went into effect last year. The law, aimed to help crack down on opioid prescribing, seems to be working.

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The study looked at opioid prescribing when patients were discharged from Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for two periods: July 1, 2017 - Sept. 30, 2017 and July 1, 2018 - Sept. 30, 2018. Researchers found doctors prescribed significantly fewer opioids.

This comes after Florida House Bill 21 went into effect in 2018, limiting the supply of opioids, prohibiting refills, and requiring doctors to check Florida's prescription drug-monitoring program before prescribing the powerful painkillers.

Florida is among more than 1,000 state and local governments suing opiod makers and distributors.

Last month, a Pasco County judge ruled in favor of Attorney General Ashley Moody's motion to access Florida's prescription drug monitoring program database, to build the state's case in holding opioid distributors, manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opiod crisis.

Moody has said she hopes to take her case to trial in 2020.