Pitfalls and Potholes: Data Issues to Consider When Conducting Analyses of State Opioid Policies

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Teaching Objectives

  • What is meant by “state opioid policy,” and what gets ignored
  • Sources for state opioid policy data: strengths and limitations of each
  • Considering definitions, and what components of a policy might matter for research purposes
  • Enactment date, effective date, and implementation date – why they matter
  • Making the most of geographic diversity in opioid policies
  • Measuring changes in components, and hence the policy, over time

Agenda (Eastern Time)

1:00 – 1:20 p.m. Introductions & Overview

1:20 – 2:50 p.m. Lessons Related to Policy Data

  • What is “Policy” (examples using PDMP, Morphine Equivalent Doses and NAL laws)
  • Where do people get opioid policy data? Does source matter?
  • Examples of differences across sources: definitions & interpretations

2:50 – 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Considering “Time”

  • Enactment date versus effective date versus implementation date
  • Transition in policy components over time; why does it matter?
  • Identification in a dynamic policy world

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.: Wrap Up and where to go for more information

Register for This Program

Space is limited. Please register online by Monday, September 7, 2020.

Event Date
Monday, September 14, 2020
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern


Bradley Stein, MD, PhD
Senior Physician Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh


Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, PhD
Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics & Law and Professor of Health Policy and Management, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Senior Fellow, USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics

Rosanna Smart, PhD
Economist, RAND Corporation


Tisamarie Sherry, MD, PhD
Associate Physician Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation

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