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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal


Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:44 PM

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Two Of Tennessee's Largest Insurers Report Significant Reductions In Prescribed Opioid Drugs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Two of Tennessee's largest insurers say they've made significant reductions in the number of opioid drugs prescribed.

News outlets report BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in February reported a 6 percent decrease in the number of opioid prescriptions per plan member, per month.

Cigna announced recently that it has reduced opioid prescriptions overall by 25 percent - a year earlier than originally planned.

Cigna set the goal of reducing opioid prescriptions by 25 percent by 2019 because that would return consumers' usage rates to pre-epidemic levels.

BlueCross BlueShield reported the 6 percent reduction for 2017 over 2016 in February.

BlueCross BlueShield corporate communications director Mary Danielson says that it includes a 10 percent reduction in morphine milligram equivalent doses per prescription and a 52 percent reduction in the number of claims for long-acting opioids.