NOT a “FEW BAD APPLES”: Broader Strategies Necessary To Counter Painkiller Over Prescribing

January 7th, 2016

From Kaiser Health News (12-14-15):

“There’s a prescription drug abuse problem sweeping the United States, but fixing it will require a systematic change focused on how most health professionals prescribe drugs, rather than changing the practices of a few bad apples.

“At least, that’s the recommendation put forth in a research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers examined Medicare claims from 2013 to see which doctors prescribed opioids – a class of drug that includes OxyContin, morphine and codeine – and how many prescriptions they filled.

“They found that the drugs are prescribed by a broad cross-section of medical professionals – including doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and dentists – rather than concentrated among a small group of practitioners. That means overprescribing opioids, they suggested, is a problem to which a majority of health professionals are contributing, not the work of a small minority.”

View the JAMA Internal Medicine research letter

View the full Kaiser Health News article

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