States with medical marijuana laws see drop in prescriptions

April 28, 2017

(HealthDay)—Medical marijuana laws are associated with a decline in the number of prescriptions filled for Medicaid enrollees, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford, Ph.D., both from the University of Georgia in Athens, analyzed quarterly data on all fee-for-service Medicaid prescriptions from 2007 to 2014 to assess the association between medical marijuana laws and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries.

The researchers found that the use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas examined. They estimated that if all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, fee-for-service Medicaid could have saved $1.01 billion. These results are similar to those from a previous study examining the effects of medical marijuana laws on the number of prescriptions filled in the Medicare population.

"Our findings on Medicaid prescribing behavior and estimated savings associated with , along with our previous results for Medicare enrollees, suggest that patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine," conclude the authors.

Explore further: Do medical marijuana laws promote illicit cannabis use and disorder?

More information: Abstract
Full Text

Related Stories

Do medical marijuana laws promote illicit cannabis use and disorder?

April 26, 2017
Illicit cannabis use and cannabis use disorders increased at a greater rate in states that passed medical marijuana laws than in other states, according to new research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health ...

No uptick in marijuana use by adolescents after states pass medical marijuana laws

October 19, 2016
Adults over the age of 25 increased their use of marijuana after their home states made changes to medical marijuana laws, according to new research by scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ...

Not blowing smoke: Research finds medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use

July 6, 2016
Medical marijuana is having a positive impact on the bottom line of Medicare's prescription drug benefit program in states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes, according to University of Georgia researchers ...

Since passing medical marijuana laws, states have seen lower numbers of fatal car crashes involving opioids

September 15, 2016
A study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that there were fewer drivers killed in car crashes who tested positive for opioids in states with medical marijuana laws than before the laws ...

Traffic fatalities decline in states with medical marijuana laws

December 20, 2016
States that enacted medical marijuana laws, on average, experienced reductions in traffic fatalities, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Overall, states that passed ...

Medicaid expansion linked to increased prescribing of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment

March 16, 2017
States where Medicaid coverage was expanded under the Affordable Care Act have had a significant increase in prescribing of buprenorphine—a medication that plays an important role in addressing the opioid epidemic, reports ...

Recommended for you

Students more likely to eat school breakfast when given extra time, new study finds

August 18, 2018
Primary school students are more likely to eat a nutritional breakfast when given 10 extra minutes to do so, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech and Georgia Southern University.

Like shark attack and the lottery, unconscious bias influences cancer screening

August 17, 2018
What do shark attack, the lottery and ovarian cancer screening having in common? It turns out our judgments about these things are all influenced by unconscious bias.

Phantom odors: One American in 15 smells odors that aren't there, study finds

August 16, 2018
Imagine the foul smell of an ash tray or burning hair. Now imagine if these kinds of smells were present in your life, but without a source. A new study finds that 1 in 15 Americans (or 6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experiences ...

US drug overdose deaths surge amid fentanyl scourge

August 16, 2018
US drug overdose deaths surged to nearly 72,000 last year, as addicts increasingly turn to extremely powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl as the supply of prescription painkillers has tightened.

Parental life span predicts daughters living to 90 without chronic disease or disability

August 15, 2018
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that women whose mothers lived to at least age 90 were more likely to also live to 90, free of serious diseases and disabilities.

Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal

August 15, 2018
Eating breakfast before exercise may "prime" the body to burn carbohydrates during exercise and more rapidly digest food after working out, University of Bath researchers have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.