Doctors, Dentists and Nurses under Investigation for Opioid Prescriptions

Wisconsin officials are using a prescription drug database started five years ago to crack down on top prescribers of opioids.

Seven doctors, 16 dentists and four advance practice nurses are under investigation after the state identified them as heavy opioid prescribers and professional boards referred them for scrutiny.

The actions are outlined in a report last week by the Controlled Substances Board. The board runs the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which started in 2013.Under the program, pharmacies and other drug dispensers must report controlled substances given to patients. As of last year, doctors and others are required to check the database before prescribing narcotics and other monitored drugs, in part to prevent patients from “doctor shopping” for drugs.

According to the new report, nearly 2.7 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed in Wisconsin during the first three quarters of this year, down from about 3.1 million during the same period last year and more than 3.7 million during the same period in 2015. That’s a 28 percent reduction over three years.