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Scheduled Prescription Drug Distribution in Wyoming: Analysis of the Wyoming Prescription Drug Monitoring Program 2004-2009

NCJ Number
Steve Butler; Brian Harnisch
Date Published
July 2011
307 pages
This study examined statewide prescribing patterns of Schedule II and above drugs as recorded through the Wyoming Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which contains prescribing information for drugs that have high potential for abuse.
In Wyoming and other States, PDMPs have been used primarily to assist doctors and pharmacists in identifying patients who might be attaining illicit access to drugs through doctor-shopping and fraudulent prescription scams. In addition, this information reveals the scale and scope of scheduled drug distribution, both geographically and over time. Over the study period (2004-2009), the drugs prescribed most often were opioid analgesics. Opioid-based pain-killers were responsible for well over half of all prescriptions filled in each year of the study. Sedative/hypnotic drugs like Zolpidem, a sleep-aid drug sold under the trade name Ambien and others, were a distant second in frequency of prescribing (approximately 13-15 percent of all prescriptions filled over the study. Ranked third were anxiolytic drugs, which are used in treating anxiety. Stimulants for the treatment of attention deficit and hyperactive disorder are ranked fourth in prescriptions (approximately 6-7 percent) over the study period. Stimulants for weight loss were between 1-2 percent of prescriptions, and stimulants not for weight loss were just under 1 percent. All other scheduled drugs composed approximately 7 percent of the remaining prescriptions filled. Regarding trends in the use of Schedule II prescription drugs from 2005 through 2009, there was an increase from 572,328 prescriptions to 859,854, a 50-percent increase. Over the same period, the Wyoming population increased by only 7.5 percent. 350 tables