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Calculating Daily Morphine Milligram Equivalents (Technical Assistance Guide No. 01-13)

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2018
6 pages
In order to assist states receiving federal funding under the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in completing one of their performance measures, this Technical Assistance Guide explains how to calculate daily morphine milligram equivalents.
Funded states are required to report data that measures the results of their work. These performance measures are reported to the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) every 3 months. This is done through BJA's online Performance Measurement Tool (PMT). Included in the performance measurements is a calculation of daily morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) for opioid painkillers for 3-month and 6-month reporting periods. BJA has established MME reporting to better identify and quantify individuals at-risk of addiction and drug overdose. This Technical Assistance Guide is intended to ensure consistency in the values reported and provide a better assessment of the drug problem. Morphine is widely regarded as the "gold standard" for the treatment and management of moderate to severe pain; therefore, it is used as the reference point for other opioids. Evidence suggests that patients who receive more than 100 mg MMEs are nine times more likely to overdose, with 12 percent of those resulting in death. Identifying at-risk patients is a crucial first step in improving patient safety and increasing prescriber awareness. This guide provides detailed instructions for completing the MME questions.