Chronic Pain — 22 September 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

The prescribing of opioid painkillers by doctors in the United States has nearly doubled over the past decade, according to a large new study that also found the use of safer alternatives for pain treatment was flat or declining.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed a nationwide database of outpatient visits to doctors’ offices from 2000 to 2010. About 20% of the visits involved a primary diagnosis of pain.

“The overall prevalence of patient-reported pain has not changed during the past decade, although providers’ diagnoses of pain as a primary complaint nearly doubled,” said G. Caleb Alexander, MD, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness.

“Despite greater recognition of pain by providers and a remarkable increase in opioid prescribing, there was no commensurate increase in the prescribing of non-opioid therapies. This is particularly important because of the variety of alternative pharmacologic treatments available to treat nonmalignant pain.”

Read more at National Pain Report.


About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

(0) Readers Comments

Comments are closed.