State says painkiller prescriptions continue to fall in Ohio

COLUMBUS (AP) — The state says the number of prescriptions being written for painkillers continues to fall as Ohio battles a deadly addictions epidemic.

Data released by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy today show 701 million painkiller pills were dispensed to Ohio patients last year, down 12 percent from a high of 793 million in 2012.

The data also show a 71 percent decrease in the number of patients going from doctor to doctor in search of drugs thanks to the pharmacy board’s computerized reporting system.

Steven Schierholt, the board’s executive director, attributes the decline to efforts to educate pharmacists and prescribers about the painkiller addiction problem.

He says recent state efforts to make the reporting system easier to use and stricter guidelines for writing painkiller prescriptions also have helped.

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