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Study: NJ Patient Notification Act Paying Dividends

April 28, 2020

A New Jersey law enacted in 2017 that requires practitioners to discuss opioid pain medications’ potential for addiction with patients and to also discuss non-opioid alternatives when available appears to be making an impact, according to research released last week.

The study, commissioned by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, was conducted by Andrew Kolodny, MD, medical director of opioid policy research at the Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Among its findings:

  • 95% of participants said they now routinely warn patients about the potential for addiction compared to 18% who did so prior to the law being enacted
  • Nearly 5,000 fewer patients in New Jersey were prescribed opioids in the month following the law being enacted
  • The number of practitioners in the state who prescribed opioids for acute pain dropped by 1,000
  • 97.5% of prescribers said they were aware of the new prescribing rules

New Jersey was the first state in the nation to enact a patient notification law around the addictive potential of prescription opioids; 17 states have since followed.

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