A West Virginia board report says state pharmacies dispensed 31 million fewer controlled substances last year, a trend the board’s acting chief says is due to heightened awareness about prescription medication overdose deaths.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the decline was the sharpest in a single year since the state started tracking powerful medications.
According to the state Board of Pharmacy’s annual report, the number of prescribed controlled substances declined from 267.2 million to 235.9 million doses, an 11.7 percent drop from 2016 to 2017. That includes prescription painkillers, anti-anxiety medication and amphetamines.
West Virginia has the highest overdose death rate in the nation.
Pharmacy board acting executive director Mike Goff says “there’s been more scrutiny by everyone” over controlled substances in the state.