PDT Staff Writer
Following the implementation of Kentucky’s “Pill Mill Bill,” new data from ConventryCares Kentucky, shows a substantial drop in the use of some of the most widely abused prescription pain drugs.
While CoventryCares Kentucky’s numbers show a significant drop in the day’s supply of commonly abused controlled substances, the organization noted that over a corresponding period, they did not receive any complaints from members not having access to the medications they need.
“While these numbers are only a snapshot of what’s taking place as Kentucky continues to battle pain pills, it’s certainly encouraging to know that there will be fewer pills that could find their way on to Kentucky’s streets and into the hands of those who would abuse them,” Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) said. “We are especially pleased to hear that a group helping to administer health care to Kentuckians reports that while usage is down, those who truly need these drugs are receiving them.”
Percocet use dropped from 185,173 during the period of February to April of this year to 145,605 over the period of August through October, a reduction of 21.37 percent. Vicodin use went from 996,479 to 846,219, a drop of 15.08 percent. Oxycontin from 105,939 to 82,829, cutting that number by 21.91 percent. Fentanyl use went from 22,947 to 18,365, down 19.97 percent. And Opana ER from 12,284 to 8,301, showing a 32.42 percent decrease over that same period of time.
ConventryCares of KY is one of three MCOs (Managed Care Organizations) administering Medicaid in the much of the Commonwealth. Internal numbers compiled by the organization which track the day’s supply five of the most commonly abused controlled substances over a three month period showed an average drop of 22.1% over a similar period prior to the implementation of House Bill 1.
“I understand that one report does not make a trend,” Stumbo said. “However, when it comes to the war against prescription drug abuse, you have to be encouraged by any good news. I’d say an organization reporting a 22 percent drop in commonly abused pills would definitely fall under good news.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com