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

Avoiding the car for travel could significantly lower risk of illness and death

May 21, 2018
People who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could be cutting their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11% and their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30%, ...

New study shows higher formaldehyde risk in e-cigarettes than previously thought

May 21, 2018
Portland State University researchers who published an article three years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine about the presence of previously undiscovered forms of formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor revisited their ...

Insufficient sleep, even without extended wakefulness, leads to performance impairments

May 21, 2018
Millions of individuals obtain insufficient sleep on a daily basis, which can lead to impaired performance and other adverse physiological outcomes. To what extent these impairments are caused by the short sleep duration ...

Sleep better, parent better: Study shows link between maternal sleep and permissive parenting

May 21, 2018
Research has shown that consistently not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, can put you at risk for a number of health conditions. But how does sleep, or the lack of it, affect how you parent?

Mediterranean diet may blunt air pollution's ill health effects

May 21, 2018
Eating a Mediterranean diet may protect people from some of the harm of long-term exposure to air pollution, and reduce their risk of dying from heart attacks, stroke and other causes of death, according to new research presented ...

Autism is not linked to eating fish in pregnacy

May 21, 2018
A major study examining the fish-eating habits of pregnant women has found that they are not linked to autism or autistic traits in their children.

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.