The impact of medical and recreational marijuana laws on opioid prescribing in employer-sponsored health insurance

Jiebing Wen, Hefei Wen, J. S. Butler, Jeffery C. Talbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using data from Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database between 2009 and 2015, we studied the effects of medical and recreational marijuana laws on opioid prescribing in employer-sponsored health insurance. We used a differences-in-differences (DD) approach and found that the implementation of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) reduced morphine milligram equivalents per enrollee by 7% and 13%, respectively. The reduction associated with MMLs was predominately in people aged 55–64, whereas the reduction associated with RMLs was largely in people aged 35–44 and aged 45–54. Our findings suggest that both MMLs and RMLs have the potential to reduce opioid prescribing in the privately insured population, especially for the middle-aged population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-1000
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Economics (United Kingdom)
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • medical marijuana laws
  • pain management
  • prescription opioids
  • recreational marijuana laws

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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