Pennsylvania provides update on drug program, trends

Pennsylvania provides update on drug program, trends

Pennsylvania recently provided an update on prescribing and overdose trends through October and highlighted Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) accomplishments.

Twenty counties experienced significant increases in opioid overdose-related emergency department visits compared to 2019. Statewide, the increase was less than 1 percent.

From January through July, drug overdose deaths were higher than the same period in 2019. As finalized records for overdose deaths are delayed by three to six months, 2020 counts are expected to increase further.

More than 10,000 doses of naloxone were distributed to the public, and EMS administered more than 47,000 doses.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency distributes naloxone to first responders. Since November 2017, more than 16,241 overdose reversals were reported through the program, including more than 6,600 in 2019.

PDMP launched in 2016, and there has been a 29.7 percent increase in the prescribing of buprenorphine, a 36.6 percent reduction in opioid prescribing, a 52.4 percent reduction in the number of people receiving a dangerous drug combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, and
a 58.6 percent reduction in people receiving a high dosage of opioid medication.

The Opioid Command Center, which launched in 2018, focuses on prevention, rescue, and treatment to address the opioid crisis.