Doctor’s prescribing practices key to curbing painkiller abuse: CDC

Improved prescribing practices could help reduce narcotic painkiller abuse and overdose deaths from those drugs, a new U. S. government study says.  An analysis of prescription drug-monitoring programs in eight states found that a small number of doctors were responsible for most narcotic painkiller prescriptions, according to the U. S,. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers.

The CDC researchers analyzed 2013 data from prescription drug-monitoring programs in California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Main, Ohio and West Virginia, which represents about one-quarter of the U. S. population.

The study found a small number of doctors who were heavy prescribers.  For instance, the top one percent of prescribers wrote 25 percentage of narcotic prescriptions in Delaware, compared with about 12 percent in Maine.  The findings, published in the October 16 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlight the need to improve prescribing practices, particular for narcotics, the study authors said.