U.S. Opioid Prescriptions Are Declining

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By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — The US has an opioid epidemic, however there’s one shiny spot within the combat towards it: Prescriptions for these addictive medicine have declined for sufferers with non-public insurance coverage.

Amid tips over the previous decade from governments, well being methods and insurers aimed toward lowering opioid prescriptions, earlier research have pointed to a nationwide drop in prescribing charges.

Sufferers who’re actively receiving most cancers remedies are excluded from these limits.

The brand new research included most cancers sufferers in addition to individuals with different chronic pain. It discovered that total prescribing charges nonetheless dropped.

“We discover that from 2012 to 2019 there have been declines in opioid prescribing for people with continual non-cancer ache and people with most cancers with out corresponding will increase in receipt of non-opioid therapies,” authors Sachini Bandara and Emma McGinty of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being in Baltimore, and Dr. Mark Bicket of the College of Michigan, wrote.

The research was revealed Aug. 10 in PLOS ONE .

“These findings spotlight the necessity to higher perceive how declines in prescribing are influencing the administration of ache amongst these affected person populations, notably because the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is presently updating opioid prescribing tips for continual ache,” the authors stated in a journal information launch.

For the research, the researchers analyzed insurance coverage claims from 100 non-public firms. They checked out sufferers with most cancers and people with different types of pain, together with low back pain, neuropathic pain, complications or arthritis.

Between 2012 and 2019, the proportion of people that had been prescribed an opioid for cancer-related ache dropped from 86% to 78.7%, the research discovered. Those that obtained opioid prescriptions for different sorts of ache dropped from 49.7% to 30.5%.

Whereas charges of non-opioid ache medicine had been regular for individuals with non-cancer ache, researchers discovered they rose for most cancers sufferers from 74.4% to 78.8%.

For many who nonetheless obtained opioids, fewer individuals obtained extraordinarily excessive doses or greater than a one-week provide, the researchers reported.

They stated extra research is required to learn the way the revised tips influenced ache administration in each teams.

Extra data

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers has extra on the opioid epidemic.

SOURCE: PLOS ONE, information launch, Aug. 10, 2022

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