Horwitz Publishes Novel Studies on Opioid Regulation in Top Health Policy Journals

September 15, 2020
UCLA Law Professor Jill Horwitz

UCLA School of Law Professor Jill Horwitz on Sept. 8 published the results of an innovative study of prescription regulations meant to address the ongoing opioid crisis. The article, “Regulating Opioid Supply Through Insurance Coverage,” appears in the September 2020 issue of Health Affairs, the nation’s premier journal covering health policy and research. The piece is one of two articles that Horwitz has recently published on her opioid-related research.

Among other findings that they published in Health Affairs, Horwitz and her co-authors concluded that Canadian regulations requiring doctors to get advance authorization for certain opioid prescriptions reduced prescription fills. Importantly, the effects were concentrated on new, opioid-naive patients and not patients who were chronic users of the regulated opioids, the latter of whom have been harmed by abrupt denial of opioid prescriptions. Such regulations are not commonly used in the United States, but the authors recommend that the approach could prove successful for U.S. policymakers. For the Health Affairs article, Horwitz collaborated with M. Christopher Auld of Canada’s University of Victoria, Benjamin Lukenchuk of the Department of Finance Canada and UCLA Law librarian Lynn McClelland.

In another new article, “The Importance of Data Source in Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Research” (October 2020, Health Services Research), Horwitz and colleagues explain how the conflicting results found in previous opioid studies can be explained by differences in underlying data. Horwitz and her co-authors — UCLA Law librarians McClelland and Rebecca Fordon, Corey Davis of the Network for Public Health Law and Ellen Meara of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health — present a legal research protocol for prescription drug monitoring programs.

Horwitz serves as UCLA Law’s Vice Dean for Faculty and Intellectual Life and is a leading expert in health law and insurance regulation. She also holds positions with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, National Bureau of Economic Research, and University of Victoria Department of Economics in British Columbia. As the reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Charitable Nonprofit Organizations, she led the first Restatement on the subject, which was approved in 2019.

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