To determine the effect of rescheduling on prescription practices in a large academic hospital-based multidisciplinary practice comprising anesthesiologist-trained pain physicians.
We examined the number of HCP prescriptions written and quantity of tablets prescribed during a 6-month period prior to rescheduling and compared this with a 6-month period 1 year after rescheduling. We also examined the changes in prescription of tramadol and acetaminophen with codeine from one period to the next.
Our pain clinic conducted 3,320 office visits during the 6-month period prior to HCP rescheduling and 6,003 office visits in the 6-month period 1 year after rescheduling. The charted data from each of these visits were used for our analysis. The mean number of tablets of HCPs prescribed per patient decreased from 318.48 in the pre-period to 242.27 tablets in the post-period, while the mean number of HCP prescriptions per patient decreased from 2.24 to 1.84. The mean number of acetaminophen with codeine tablets prescribed per patient increased from 3.46 to 15.27 in the pre- and post-period. Similarly, the mean number of tramadol tablets per patient increased from 47.33 to 61.97 in the pre- and post-period. The mean number of acetaminophen with codeine and tramadol prescriptions per patient increased from 0.02 to 0.15 and 0.38 to 0.51 in the pre- and post-period, respectively. In the 6-month post-period, fewer new patients were started on opioids compared to the 6-month pre-period, 16% and 27%, respectively.
Our study showed a significant decrease in the mean number of HCP prescriptions written per patient, as well as a decrease in the mean number of HCP tablets prescribed. Pain physicians in our clinic increased the number of prescriptions for the non-HCPs. The number of acetaminophen with codeine and tramadol tablets prescribed significantly increased. Therefore, the rescheduling of HCPs has profoundly impacted practices within this academic pain clinic.