A new study in the Journal, Health Affairs, has made some astounding discoveries of how many patients are transitioning from prescription drugs to marijuana in states where medical marijuana is legal. In the 17 states with medical marijuana laws in place as of 2013, the average Doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. The largest reduction came from painkillers, with an average of 1,826 fewer doses being prescribed per Doctor. Other drug categories that marijuana is not an alternative for had no changes in prescribing patterns which solidifies the accuracy of these inferences. These decreases in painkiller prescriptions will likely cause pharmaceutical companies to focus more on supporting the opposition to marijuana legalization. These statistics only refer to those patients under Medicare Part D, which applies only to seniors, but the same researches will be researching the same patterns for Medicaid in the coming months.
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