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Opioid prescription is on the increase

Date:
February 12, 2013
Source:
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
Summary:
More and more opioids are being prescribed for pain relief, study suggests

More and more opioids are being prescribed for pain relief in Germany. This is the conclusion arrived at by Ingrid Schubert, Peter Ihle, and Rainer Sabatowski, whose study of a sample of inhabitants of the state of Hesse with health insurance from a large statutory provider is published in the latest issue of Deutsches Δrzteblatt International.

Behind this study lies the intention to improve pain treatment with opioids, particularly for patients with cancer. Prescribing too little results in inadequate alleviation of pain, while supplying too much entails the risk of addiction, especially in patients who do not have cancer.

The proportion of persons in the sample who received opioids increased between 2000 and 2010, and so did the number of daily doses per recipient. 3.7 million inhabitants of Germany received opioids in 2010, a million more than in 2000. The frequency of prescription of WHO step 3 opioids increased -- most of all in noncancer patients, in spite of the lack of good evidence for this indication.

The study points to inappropriate provision: Despite the increase in opioid prescription, it cannot be concluded that cancer patients are receiving opioids in adequate amounts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schubert I, Ihle P, Sabatowski R. Increase in opiate pre scription in Germany between 2000 and 2010—a study based on insurance data. Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2013; 110(4): 45%u201351 DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2013.0045

Cite This Page:

Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Opioid prescription is on the increase." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212121758.htm>.
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2013, February 12). Opioid prescription is on the increase. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212121758.htm
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Opioid prescription is on the increase." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212121758.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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