Friday, May 4, 2012

NYC Report Details Opioid Prescription Trends

New York City's Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, Chief Policy Advisor John Feinblatt, and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., released new data this week showing that opioid painkiller prescriptions are rising in New York City and that just 8,000 health care providers (15 percent) prescribe the vast majority of the drugs (82 percent). The Mayor’s Task Force on Prescription Painkiller Abuse, co-chaired by Gibbs and Feinblatt, proposes strengthening the state’s drug-monitoring system by requiring doctors and pharmacists to consult the database to prevent overprescribing or misuse and allowing information in the database to be shared with local agencies working to address the problem.

“The problem often begins with us, as physicians,” said Farley. “Primary care physicians, pain-management and other specialists, including dentists, can reduce the risks of misuse and overuse of opioid medications by prescribing them much more cautiously.”

Read more about the task force's report here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently called on states to take more responsibility for reining in painkiller abuse. Read more about that issue in Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Paola Giannoni/Shutterstock.com)

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