CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A new report shows that South Carolina's drug monitoring program is reducing the number of opioid prescriptions written for Medicaid recipients in the state.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported the University of South Carolina conducted a study for the Department of Health and Human Services to see how the state's prescription drug monitoring program was working.

There was a 29 percent drop in the number of opioid prescriptions since the monitoring program started.

In response to the opioid abuse epidemic, state health officials set up a monitoring program and made it mandatory for all doctors to check before prescribing opioids. The Department of Health and Environmental Control has the database used in the program.

Lead researcher Ana Lopez-De Fede said the trends extend beyond Medicaid patients.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com