Report: Nearly 60% Of Patients Using Opioids Are Also Prescribed Other Medicines

The New York Times (12/9, Thomas, Subscription Publication) reports on a study released by pharmacy benefits managed Express Scripts that found that “nearly half the people who took the painkillers for over 30 days in the study’s first year were still using them three years later,” which may be “a sign of potential abuse.” Additionally, the report also found “nearly 60 percent of patients taking the painkillers to treat long-term conditions were also being prescribed muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety drugs that could cause dangerous reactions.”

According to Dr. Glen Stettin, a senior vice president at Express Scripts, “Not only are more people using these medications chronically, they are using them at higher doses than we would necessarily expect,” and “they are using them in combinations for which there isn’t a lot of clinical justification.”

Related Links:

— “Patients Prescribed Narcotic Painkillers Use More of Them for Longer, Study Finds,” Katie Thomas, New York Times, December 9, 2014.

Posted in In The News.