GuideWell and Prime Therapeutics Find Pharmacy Point-of-Sale Alerts Reduce Opioid Overprescribing

New research from Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) and GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to Florida’s largest health insurance company, found that alerts sent to pharmacies notifying them that insurance would cover no more than a 7-day supply for patients who were newly starting opioid therapy resulted in a decrease in patients receiving too much of the opioid drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when opioids are used for acute pain, a three-day supply or fewer is often sufficient; more than seven days is rarely needed.1

Prime and the health plan examined whether the pharmacy point-of-sale intervention would be successful at reducing the number of opioid prescriptions for more than a 7-day supply for people new to opioids. This intervention reduced opioid claims for individuals receiving more than a 7day supply by 88%, when compared to a control group that did not receive the intervention.