New study on opioids and insurance coverage

The opioid crisis in BC continues to capture news headlines as a growing epidemic alongside COVID-19. UVic economist, Chris Auld and co-author UCLA School of Law Vice Dean and UVic adjunct professor, Jill Horwitz published an innovative study, “Regulating Opioid Supply Through Insurance Coverage,” which appears in the September 2020 issue of the leading health policy journal Health Affairs

Auld, Horwitz and their co-authors found that regulations requiring doctors to get advance authorization for certain opioid prescriptions reduced prescription fills. More importantly, the regulation resulted in doctors prescribing fewer opioids to new opioid-naïve patients.

 “Our study shows that this type of regulation could prevent harm,” says Auld. 

“The study suggests that insurance regulation may be a useful tool in addressing the opioid crisis,” adds Horwitz. 

Auld and Horwitz collaborated with a recent UVic undergraduate student, Benjamin Lukenchuk of the Department of Finance Canada and UCLA Law librarian Lynn McClelland.

Read the UCLA  post