“Forty percent of U.S. narcotic prescriptions in 2011-2012 were written by only five percent of opioid prescribers, according to a study Express Scripts presented today at Academy Health’s annual research meeting.
The study identifies prescribers who prescribe opioids at a much higher rate than peers who are in the same specialty, treat patients of similar age, and practice in the same geographic region.
According to the analysis, high prescribers wrote an average of 3.5 times more opioid prescriptions — 4.6 prescriptions per patient compared to 1.3 in their peer group. Opioid cost per patient per day of therapy was nearly 5 times higher, on average, for patients treated by high prescribers.
Internal medicine and family practice are among the specialties with the highest prevalence of high prescribers, even after accounting for the volume of prescribers in these two specialties.”
Source: MarketWatch.com – June 9, 2014