William Paterson University health economics professor Rahi Abouk, director of the University’s Cannabis Research Institute, and David Powell, a senior economist in the Rand Corp., have been awarded a two-year grant of more than $460,000 for their proposed research, “Can Mandatory Electronic Prescriptions Reduce Opioid Abuse?”
Abouk is an associate professor at William Paterson’s Cotsakos College of Business. He and Powell are co-principal investigators researching whether mandated electronic prescribing helps to reduce inappropriate opioid use, abuse, and overdoses.
The first state to do so was Minnesota in 2011 but it was not fully enforced, according to a William Paterson press release. In March 2016, the State of New York established an active mandate on prescribing. Maine implemented a mandate for controlled substances only, beginning in July 2017. Approximately eight states are in the process of adopting this mandate, Abouk said, according to William Paterson.
Abouk and Powell will study the ramifications of the New York and Maine mandates on a comprehensive set of opioid-related outcomes while also considering whether the Minnesota law may have had similar effects by encouraging the use of e-prescribing.
According to William Paterson, e-prescribing combines many of the features of prescription drug monitoring programs, which researchers believe are especially successful in reducing opioid abuse. This project will provide some of the first evidence about the potential effectiveness of these mandates.
William Paterson University in Wayne, established a Cannabis Institute in 2019 to provide evidence-based scientific and economic information on topics related to cannabis, as well as opioid drugs and other substances.
The Rand Corp. is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.