Few Doctors Prescribe Suboxone for Medicare Patients

Few Doctors Prescribe Suboxone for Medicare Patients
A new study finds few family practice physicians are prescribing the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone for their Medicare patients. “There’s lots and lots of prescribing opioids for pain, but very little prescribing of this specific drug to treat opioid addiction,” lead researcher Dr. Anna Lembke of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic told HealthDay. Her study, published in JAMA Psychiatry , found for every 40 family practice physicians who prescribed an opioid painkiller for a Medicare patient, only one prescribed Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The article notes more than six out of every 1,000 Medicare patients have been diagnosed with an addiction to opioids.
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Many Disabled Medicare Patients Still Using Opioids Despite State Limits

Many Disabled Medicare Patients Still Using Opioids Despite State Limits
Many disabled Medicare patients are still using prescription opioid painkillers despite the passage of state laws designed to control use of the drugs, HealthDay reports. A new study finds 45 percent of disabled Medicare beneficiaries were using prescription opioids in 2012, despite the passage of 81 state laws between 2002 and 2012 that were designed to control use of the drugs. Eight percent of disabled Medicare patients got opioids from four or more doctors. Researchers from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice analyzed the effects of these state laws on prescription opioid use in a study of 2.2 million disabled Medicare beneficiaries. They found no significant association between state laws and hazardous prescribing patterns, such as very high daily opioid doses and rate of nonfatal overdose. The findings are published in The New England Journal of Medicine . “There is no evidence yet that these laws prevent...
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