A study published in Science found that telling doctors in San Diego County of a patient’s overdose death led to that physician prescribing fewer opioids.
The county’s medical examiner sent a letter to physicians whose patients died within a year of an opioid prescription. The notification included information about safe prescribing.
The letter led to lower high-intensity prescribing, fewer opioid prescriptions and overall lower opioid intake, according to the repot. The study found “modest prescribing reductions,” suggesting clinicians used more caution rather than completely stopping opioid prescriptions.