Background: In 2016, Massachusetts passed the first-in-the-nation law limiting opioid naïve adults and all minors to a 7-day supply of opioids when prescribed in the outpatient setting.Objective: We hypothesized this policy would be associated with declines in the percent of opioid prescriptions with more than a 7-day supply among opioid naïve adults and minors for select prescriber groups.Methods: Interrupted time series analyses were conducted using measures from the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program database for 2015 through 2017 (n = 13,672,325 opioid prescriptions; 54% to females). Outcomes were the monthly percent of opioid prescriptions greater than 7 days' supply in opioid naïve adults and in minors among select prescriber groups. Model estimates of the pre-policy trend, the average changes in the level pre/post-implementation, and the trend changes post-implementation were assessed.Results: Pre-policy trends showed significant monthly declines in the percent of opioid prescriptions greater than 7 days' supply for all prescriber groups. Policy implementation was associated with significant reduction in the level for opioid naïve adults among surgeons (-2.92%, p < .01), dentists (-0.23%, p < .01), and general medical providers (-2.22%, p = .04), and for minors among all-included prescribers (-2.97%, p < .01) and surgeons (-3.8%, p < .01). Post-implementation changes in trends were not significant except among opioid naïve adults for dentists (0.02%, p = .04).Conclusion: Within a context of significant reductions occurring in opioid prescriptions greater than 7 days' supply during this period, the Massachusetts policy was associated with further declines for opioid naïve adults and minors among select prescriber groups.
Keywords: Opioids; policy; prescriber; prescription limits.