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Vital signs: variation among States in prescribing of opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines - United States, 2012.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Jul 04; 63(26):563-8.MM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Overprescribing of opioid pain relievers (OPR) can result in multiple adverse health outcomes, including fatal overdoses. Interstate variation in rates of prescribing OPR and other prescription drugs prone to abuse, such as benzodiazepines, might indicate areas where prescribing patterns need further evaluation.

METHODS

CDC analyzed a commercial database (IMS Health) to assess the potential for improved prescribing of OPR and other drugs. CDC calculated state rates and measures of variation for OPR, long-acting/extended-release (LA/ER) OPR, high-dose OPR, and benzodiazepines.

RESULTS

In 2012, prescribers wrote 82.5 OPR and 37.6 benzodiazepine prescriptions per 100 persons in the United States. State rates varied 2.7-fold for OPR and 3.7-fold for benzodiazepines. For both OPR and benzodiazepines, rates were higher in the South census region, and three Southern states were two or more standard deviations above the mean. Rates for LA/ER and high-dose OPR were highest in the Northeast. Rates varied 22-fold for one type of OPR, oxymorphone.

CONCLUSIONS

Factors accounting for the regional variation are unknown. Such wide variations are unlikely to be attributable to underlying differences in the health status of the population. High rates indicate the need to identify prescribing practices that might not appropriately balance pain relief and patient safety.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH

State policy makers might reduce the harms associated with abuse of prescription drugs by implementing changes that will make the prescribing of these drugs more cautious and more consistent with clinical recommendations.

Authors

No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24990489

Citation

Paulozzi, Leonard J., et al. "Vital Signs: Variation Among States in Prescribing of Opioid Pain Relievers and Benzodiazepines - United States, 2012." MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 63, no. 26, 2014, pp. 563-8.
Paulozzi LJ, Mack KA, Hockenberry JM, et al. Vital signs: variation among States in prescribing of opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines - United States, 2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(26):563-8.
Paulozzi, L. J., Mack, K. A., & Hockenberry, J. M. (2014). Vital signs: variation among States in prescribing of opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines - United States, 2012. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(26), 563-8.
Paulozzi LJ, et al. Vital Signs: Variation Among States in Prescribing of Opioid Pain Relievers and Benzodiazepines - United States, 2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Jul 4;63(26):563-8. PubMed PMID: 24990489.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Vital signs: variation among States in prescribing of opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines - United States, 2012. AU - Paulozzi,Leonard J, AU - Mack,Karin A, AU - Hockenberry,Jason M, AU - ,, PY - 2014/7/4/entrez PY - 2014/7/6/pubmed PY - 2014/8/21/medline SP - 563 EP - 8 JF - MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report JO - MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep VL - 63 IS - 26 N2 - BACKGROUND: Overprescribing of opioid pain relievers (OPR) can result in multiple adverse health outcomes, including fatal overdoses. Interstate variation in rates of prescribing OPR and other prescription drugs prone to abuse, such as benzodiazepines, might indicate areas where prescribing patterns need further evaluation. METHODS: CDC analyzed a commercial database (IMS Health) to assess the potential for improved prescribing of OPR and other drugs. CDC calculated state rates and measures of variation for OPR, long-acting/extended-release (LA/ER) OPR, high-dose OPR, and benzodiazepines. RESULTS: In 2012, prescribers wrote 82.5 OPR and 37.6 benzodiazepine prescriptions per 100 persons in the United States. State rates varied 2.7-fold for OPR and 3.7-fold for benzodiazepines. For both OPR and benzodiazepines, rates were higher in the South census region, and three Southern states were two or more standard deviations above the mean. Rates for LA/ER and high-dose OPR were highest in the Northeast. Rates varied 22-fold for one type of OPR, oxymorphone. CONCLUSIONS: Factors accounting for the regional variation are unknown. Such wide variations are unlikely to be attributable to underlying differences in the health status of the population. High rates indicate the need to identify prescribing practices that might not appropriately balance pain relief and patient safety. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: State policy makers might reduce the harms associated with abuse of prescription drugs by implementing changes that will make the prescribing of these drugs more cautious and more consistent with clinical recommendations. SN - 1545-861X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24990489/Vital_signs:_variation_among_States_in_prescribing_of_opioid_pain_relievers_and_benzodiazepines___United_States_2012_ L2 - https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6326a2.htm DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -