To test whether Medicaid expansion is associated with (a) a greater number of naloxone prescriptions dispensed and (b) a higher proportion of naloxone prescriptions paid by Medicaid.
We used the IQVIA National Prescription Audit to obtain data on per state per quarter naloxone prescription dispensing for the period 2011‐16.
In this quasi‐experimental design study, the impact of Medicaid expansion on naloxone prescription dispensing was examined using difference‐in‐difference estimation models. State‐level covariates including pharmacy‐based naloxone laws (standing/protocol orders and direct authority to dispense naloxone), third‐party prescribing laws, opioid analgesic prescribing rates, opioid‐involved overdose death rates, and population size were controlled for in the analysis.
Medicaid expansion was associated with 38 additional naloxone prescriptions dispensed per state per quarter compared to nonexpansion controls, on average ( = .030). Also, Medicaid expansion resulted in an average increase of 9.86 percent in the share of naloxone prescriptions paid by Medicaid per state per quarter ( < .001).
Our study found that Medicaid expansion increased naloxone availability. This finding suggests that it will be important to consider naloxone access when making federal‐ and state‐level decisions affecting Medicaid coverage.
Data Sources/Study Setting