US Opioid Prescriptions Remain Unchanged

Newly published research shows that from 2007 to 2016 opioid prescriptions have remained relatively unchanged, despite the growing awareness of potential dangers of opioid abuse.

Newly published research shows that from 2007 to 2016 opioid prescriptions have remained relatively unchanged, despite the growing awareness of potential dangers of opioid abuse.

Researchers from Mayo Clinic, Yale University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Dartmouth College studied data from 48 million US patients with insurance coverage between 2007 and 2016. The study included patients with commercial insurance, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries (aged 65 years and older), and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries under age 65 (generally eligible due to disability).

"Our data suggest not much has changed in prescription opioid use since about 5 years ago," Molly Jeffery, PhD, lead author, scientific director of the Mayo Clinic Division of Emergency Medicine Research, said in a statement.

The main endpoints in this retrospective cohort study were the proportion of beneficiaries with any opioid prescription per quarter, average daily dose in milligram morphine equivalents (MME), and proportion of opioid use episodes that represented long term use.

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