Many pharmacists are not using monitoring systems designed to reduce prescription drug abuse, a study of Maine pharmacists suggests. The study found only 56 percent of those surveyed used their state system.
Some doctors are finding it challenging to balance the mandate to reduce opioid prescriptions with a federal policy that links hospital payments to patient satisfaction surveys, Kaiser Health News reports.
Almost 10 million Americans say they misused opioid medications in 2012-2013, according to a new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled over a 10-year period, the study found.
Almost one-third of Medicare beneficiaries—nearly 12 million Americans—received a prescription for commonly abused opioids in 2015, according to a new report. Spending for these drugs exceeded $4 billion, according to the Associated Press.
Some dental schools are training their students to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers they prescribe for their surgical patients. Dentists are among the leading prescribers of opioids, especially for surgical tooth extractions, NBC News reports.
Patients suffering from chronic pain say they are finding it more difficult to get prescriptions for opioid painkillers, The Boston Globe reports. Federal and state regulations to reduce access to opioids have made doctors and pharmacists more reluctant to prescribe and dispense the drugs.
A new study finds people who have been prescribed opioid painkillers have a higher risk of early death compared with patients given other pain medications. Much of the increased risk is due to cardiovascular complications, HealthDay reports.
A growing number of older adults are becoming addicted to opioid painkillers, The New York Times reports. They are using the pills to deal with the aches and pains of aging and the anxiety that can come with retirement.
A New Jersey hospital emergency department has been treating pain with alternative regimens, in an attempt to reduce opioid use. The treatments include non-narcotic infusions and injections, ultrasound guided nerve blocks, laughing gas, and “energy healing,” according to The New York Times.
Some states are seeing a significant decrease in the amount of opioids received by injured workers, according to a new study. Reductions between 20 percent and 31 percent were seen in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Texas.
Many patients who have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery are still taking prescription opioid painkillers up to six months after the operation, a new study finds. Some patients continue to use potentially addictive pain medications even though their hip or knee pain has improved, the findings suggest.