ResearchPublications

Cycles of chronic opioid therapy following mandatory prescription drug monitoring program legislation: A retrospective cohort study
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mandates for prescriber use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), databases tracking controlled substance prescriptions, are associated with reduced opioid analgesic (OA) prescribing but may contribute to care discontinuity and chronic opioid therapy (COT) cycling, or multiple initiations and terminations.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate risks of COT cycling in New York City (NYC) due to the New York State (NYS) PDMP mandate, compared to risks in neighboring New Jersey (NJ) counties.

DESIGN: We estimated cycling risk using Prentice, Williams, and Peterson gap-time models adjusted for age, sex, OA dose, payment type, and county population density, using a life-table difference-in-differences design. Failure time was duration between cycles. In a subgroup analysis, we estimated risk among patients receiving high-dose prescriptions. Sensitivity analyses tested robustness to cycle volume considering only first cycles using Cox proportional hazard models.

PARTICIPANTS: The cohort included 7604 patients dispensed 12,695 prescriptions.

INTERVENTIONS: The exposure was the August 2013 enactment of the NYS PDMP prescriber use mandate.

MAIN MEASURES: We used monthly, patient-level data on OA prescriptions dispensed in NYC and NJ between August 2011 and July 2015. We defined COT as three sequential months of prescriptions, permitting 1-month gaps. We defined recurrence as re-initiation of COT after at least 2 months without prescriptions. The exposure was enactment of the PDMP mandate in NYC; NJ was unexposed.

KEY RESULTS: Enactment of the NYS PDMP mandate was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for cycling of 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94-1.08) in NYC. For high-dose prescriptions, the risk was 1.16 (95% CI, 1.01-1.34). Sensitivity analyses estimated an overall risk of 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94-1.11) and high-dose risk of 1.09 (95% CI, 0.91-1.31).

CONCLUSIONS: The PDMP mandate had no overall effect on COT cycling in NYC but increased cycling risk among patients receiving high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16%, highlighting care discontinuity.

Full citation:
Allen B, Jent VA, Cerda M (2022).
Cycles of chronic opioid therapy following mandatory prescription drug monitoring program legislation: A retrospective cohort study
Journal of General Internal Medicine [Epub 2022 Apr 11]. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07551-z.