Mass. Receives Mixed Marks On Painkiller Prescription Report

BOSTON — Massachusetts ranks in the top 10 of all states for prescribing OxyContin and other long-acting painkillers, but in the bottom 10 for overall prescribing of opioids.

That’s according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, based on 2012 data, says Massachusetts ranks eighth in long-acting painkiller prescription rates and ninth in the use of the sedative benzodiazepine.

“State variation in prescribing shows us that the overprescribing of opioids can be reduced safely and feasibly,” said Daniel Sosin, acting director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in a statement. “Improving how opioids are prescribed will help us prevent the 46 prescription painkiller overdose deaths that occur each day in the United States.”

The report recommends that states identify doctors who may be overprescribing.

Gov. Deval Patrick and other New England governors have pledged to form a regional prescription monitoring program.

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