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      Geographic Variations in Prescription Opioid Dispensations and Deaths Among Women and Men in British Columbia, Canada :

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          Most cited references 12

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          Prescribing of opioid analgesics and related mortality before and after the introduction of long-acting oxycodone.

          Opioid-related mortality appears to be increasing in Canada. We examined the true extent of the problem and the impact of the introduction of long-acting oxycodone. We examined trends in the prescribing of opioid analgesics in the province of Ontario from 1991 to 2007. We reviewed all deaths related to opioid use between 1991 and 2004. We linked 3271 of these deaths to administrative data to examine the patients' use of health care services before death. Using time-series analysis, we determined whether the addition of long-acting oxycodone to the provincial drug formulary in January 2000 was associated with an increase in opioid-related mortality. From 1991 to 2007, annual prescriptions for opioids increased from 458 to 591 per 1000 individuals. Opioid-related deaths doubled, from 13.7 per million in 1991 to 27.2 per million in 2004. Prescriptions of oxycodone increased by 850% between 1991 and 2007. The addition of long-acting oxycodone to the drug formulary was associated with a 5-fold increase in oxycodone-related mortality (p<0.01) and a 41% increase in overall opioid-related mortality (p=0.02). The manner of death was deemed unintentional by the coroner in 54.2% and undetermined in 21.9% of cases. Use of health care services in the month before death was common: for example, of the 3066 patients for whom data on physician visits were available, 66.4% had visited a physician in the month before death; of the 1095 patients for whom individual-level prescribing data were available, 56.1% had filled a prescription for an opioid in the month before death. Opioid-related deaths in Ontario have increased markedly since 1991. A significant portion of the increase was associated with the addition of long-acting oxycodone to the provincial drug formulary. Most of the deaths were deemed unintentional. The frequency of visits to a physician and prescriptions for opioids in the month before death suggests a missed opportunity for prevention.
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            Curtailing diversion and abuse of opioid analgesics without jeopardizing pain treatment.

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              A history of being prescribed controlled substances and risk of drug overdose death.

              The abuse of prescription drugs has increased dramatically since 1990. Persons who overdose on such drugs frequently consume large doses and visit multiple providers. The risk of fatal overdose for different patterns of use of opioid analgesics and sedative/hypnotics has not been fully quantified. Matched case-control study. Cases were 300 persons who died of unintentional drug overdoses in New Mexico during 2006-2008, and controls were 5,993 patients identified through the state prescription monitoring program with matching 6-month exposure periods. Death from drug overdose or death from opioid overdose. Exposures were demographic variables and characteristics of prescription history. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) were calculated. Increased risk was associated with male sex (AOR 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-3.1), one or more sedative/hypnotic prescriptions (AOR 3.0, CI 2.2-4.2), greater age (AOR 1.3, CI 1.2-1.4 for each 10-year increment), number of prescriptions (AOR 1.1, CI 1.1-1.1 for each additional prescription), and a prescription for buprenorphine (AOR 9.5, CI 3.0-30.0), fentanyl (AOR 3.5, CI 1.7-7.0), hydromorphone (AOR 3.3, CI 1.4-7.5), methadone (AOR 4.9, CI 2.5-9.6), or oxycodone (AOR 1.9, CI 1.4-2.6). Patients receiving a daily average of >40 morphine milligram equivalents had an OR of 12.2 (CI 9.2-16.0). Patients being prescribed opioid analgesics frequently or at high dosage face a substantial overdose risk. Prescription monitoring programs might be the best way for prescribers to know their patients' prescription histories and accurately assess overdose risk. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Medical Care
                Medical Care
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0025-7079
                2015
                November 2015
                : 53
                : 11
                : 954-959
                Article
                10.1097/MLR.0000000000000431
                © 2015

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