Rapid Growth in Medicaid Prescriptions and Spending to Treat Opioid Use Disorder and Opioid Overdose from 2010 to 2018

Research Report

Rapid Growth in Medicaid Prescriptions and Spending to Treat Opioid Use Disorder and Opioid Overdose from 2010 to 2018

Abstract

This brief updates and expands a previous study to track trends in prescriptions for and spending on Medicaid-covered medications for treating opioid use disorder (OUD) and opioid overdose, including per enrollee prescriptions and rebate-adjusted spending estimates. From 2010 to 2018, the number of OUD- and overdose-related prescriptions per Medicaid enrollee increased 4.8-fold. States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act had larger increases in prescriptions and spending, suggesting these states may have done more to close the gap in treatment need. However, the high and increasing rates of opioid-related overdose and death suggest current treatment needs are not being met, even in states that have expanded Medicaid.

For more on this project, Tracking Medicaid-Covered Prescriptions to Treat Opioid Use Disorder, and to view quarterly data, visit the project page.

Research Area: 

Centers

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