The Los Angeles Times (12/29, Kaplan) reports in “Science Now” that “even after overdosing on opioid medications, more than nine out of 10 patients continued to get prescriptions for the powerful” pain medicines, a study published online Dec. 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated. Consequently, some patients “went on to suffer another overdose,” the study of 2,848 opioid overdose patients found.
The CBS News (12/29, Marcus) website reports that “seventy percent received prescriptions from the same” healthcare professional “who prescribed opioids before their first overdose.” The study “only included patients on private insurance and did not take into account those on Medicare and Medicaid who might also be vulnerable to opioid overdoses, said” lead author Marc LaRochelle, MD. The research “was primarily of patients prescribed the powerful” medications “for musculoskeletal pain – such as lower back or knee pain, for example – not cancer patients.”
— “More than 90% of people who overdosed on prescription painkillers can still get refills, study says,” Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2015.