Prescriptions for Opioids Fell Significantly Last Year, Study Suggests

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A new reports suggest that fewer prescriptions were written for opioids last year, according to STAT news.

Prescriptions for opioids declined by 10.2 percent in 2017 and prescriptions for the highest doses fell even more, by 16.1 percent last year, and 33.1 percent since January 2016.

The number of prescriptions written for opioids, on average, has decreased consistently every year over the past five years in all 50 states, according to data from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, which is part of the IQVIA market research firm. Also, the number of patients who received opioid prescriptions for the first time fell by 8.7 percent last year.

“We saw the imposition of new programs by states and a greater focus by the surgeon general and federal government in reducing opioid prescribing,” said Murray Aitken, Senior Vice President and Executive Director at IQVIA. “While we cannot attribute the decline to anything particular, in aggregate, it looks as if those measures are having a market impact.”

Late last year, the White House declared a public health emergency on the nation’s opioid epidemic and Congress is considering legislation that would address a mix of issues affecting patients from insurance coverage, payment discrepancies, prescription regulations for Medicaid beneficiaries, and prevention strategies.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a rise as well.

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