THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — America has an opioid epidemic, however there’s one shiny spot within the combat in opposition to it: Prescriptions for these addictive medication have declined for sufferers with non-public insurance coverage.
Amid tips over the previous decade from governments, well being techniques 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 examine included most cancers sufferers in addition to individuals with different continual ache. 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 examine was printed 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 mentioned in a journal information launch.
For the examine, the researchers analyzed insurance coverage claims from 100 non-public corporations. They checked out sufferers with most cancers and people with different kinds of ache, together with low again ache, neuropathic ache, complications or arthritis.
Between 2012 and 2019, the proportion of people that have been prescribed an opioid for cancer-related ache dropped from 86% to 78.7%, the examine discovered. Those that acquired opioid prescriptions for different kinds of ache dropped from 49.7% to 30.5%.
Whereas charges of non-opioid ache medicine have been regular for individuals with non-cancer ache, researchers discovered they rose for most cancers sufferers from 74.4% to 78.8%.
For individuals who nonetheless acquired opioids, fewer individuals acquired extraordinarily excessive doses or greater than a one-week provide, the researchers reported.
They mentioned extra examine is required to find out how the revised tips influenced ache administration in each teams.
The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies has extra on the opioid epidemic.
SOURCE: PLOS ONE, information launch, Aug. 10, 2022