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New York Medicare Patients Get Relatively Few Opioids

December 1, 2017 - New York's opioid prescribing rate remained relatively unchanged between 2013 and 2015 (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opioid prescribing map), while most states decreased the rate at which they prescribed opioids to Medicare patients.

New York's opioid prescribing rate is low compared to the rest of the country. In 2015, the New York Medicare Part D opioid prescription rate was 3.05% compared to the national rate of 5.52%. Extended-release opioid prescriptions accounted for 6.21% of New York's total Medicare Part D opioid prescriptions, compared to the national rate of 6.71%.

In 2015, new measures to limit the number of opioid overdoses were implemented in New York, such as the seven-day limit on first prescriptions, due to the increase in overdose deaths. According to the Health Department, there were 2,185 opioid overdose deaths in New York, up 36% from 1,604 in 2013.