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Opioid prescription claims among women aged 15-44 years—United States, 2013-2017

April D. Summers, MPH, Elizabeth C. Ailes, PhD, Michele K. Bohm, MPH, Emmy L. Tran, PharmD, MPH, Cheryl S. Broussard, PhD, Meghan T. Frey, MPH, Suzanne M. Gilboa, PhD, Jean Y. Ko, PhD, Jennifer N. Lind, PharmD, MPH, Margaret A. Honein, PhD


Objective: To estimate the annual percentage of women of reproductive age with private insurance or Medicaid who had opioid prescription claims during 2013-2017 and describe trends over time.

Design: A secondary analysis of insurance claims data from IBM MarketScan® Commercial and Multi-State Medicaid Databases to assess outpatient pharmacy claims for prescription opioids among women aged 15-44 years during 2013-2017.

Participants: Annual cohorts of 3.5-3.8 million women aged 15-44 years with private insurance and 0.9-2.1 million women enrolled in Medicaid.

Main Outcome Measure: The percentage of women aged 15-44 years with outpatient pharmacy claims for opioid prescriptions.

Results: During 2013-2017, the proportion of women aged 15-44 years with private insurance who had claims for opioid prescriptions decreased by 22.1 percent, and among women enrolled in Medicaid, the proportion decreased by 31.5 percent.

Conclusions: Opioid prescription claims decreased from 2013 to 2017 among insured women of reproductive age. However, opioid prescription claims remained common and were more common among women enrolled in Medicaid than those with private insurance; additional strategies to improve awareness of the risks associated with opioid prescribing may be needed.


Medicaid, health insurance, women's health, pharmacoepidemiology, pain management

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