Research Grants

Funding For:

Nudging Providers to Curtail Dangerous Opioid Prescribing and Improve the Safety of the Health Care Delivery System

Prescription Drugs


Adam Sacarny, Columbia University

Grant Period:

Mar 01, 2021 - Feb 28, 2022



Summary of the Project:

Working closely with the Minnesota state government, this study will implement and evaluate a large randomized control trial to assess the impact of different types of “nudge” letters designed to encourage physicians to check the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database prior to prescribing an opioid and to curtail dangerous co-prescribing of opioids with benzodiazepines or gabapentinoids. Successful interventions could be easily replicated by any stakeholder with access to prescribing information, including insurers, with the potential to improve patient outcomes.

Grantee Publications

January 9, 2023

A Randomized Trial Of Letters To Encourage Prescription Monitoring Program Use And Safe Opioid Prescribing

To facilitate safer prescribing of opioids and other drugs, nearly all states operate prescription monitoring programs (PMPs), which collect and share data on controlled substance dispensing. Policy makers have sought to raise clinicians’ engagement with these programs but lack evidence on effective interventions.

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Author: Adam Sacarny, Tatyana Avilova, David Powell, Ian Williamson, Weston Merrick, and Mireille Jacobson