Disappointing Early Results From Opioid Prescribing Limits for Acute Pain

Between 2016 and 2019, the United States experienced a rapid proliferation of limits restricting the duration or number of doses in opioid prescriptions for acute pain.1 As of October 2019, such limits have been enacted by 34 states; large payers, such as Medicare, several state Medicaid programs, Aetna, and UnitedHealth; pharmacy chains, such as Sam’s Club/Walmart; and major pharmacy benefit managers, such as CVS CareMark, ExpressScripts, and OptumRx, which collectively manage drug benefits for 180 million Americans. More