The state is giving doctors a heads-up if they’re prescribing opioid painkillers more than other providers — part of a multi-pronged approach to combat prescription drug abuse in Minnesota.   Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey says:

“Prescribers really stepped forward and owned the fact that prescriptions — prescribed opioids — is a real driver in our opioid crisis that we’re experiencing in Minnesota and across the country.”

Lourey says next year if a provider is still prescribing disproportionate amounts of opioid painkillers they’ll have to submit a plan to improve their practices.   If there’s no improvement the year after that, sanctions could be imposed — but Lourey says he hopes that’s not necessary because “most prescribers actually are really wanting this type of advice.”