Deaths among opioid users: Impact of potential inappropriate prescribing practices

Jayani Jayawardhana, Amanda J. Abraham, Matthew Perri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between potential inappropriate prescribing practices of opioids and deaths among opioid users in the Georgia Medicaid population. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective analysis of individual pharmacy claims data from Georgia Medicaid from 2009 through 2014. METHODS: The sample was restricted to patients without cancer aged 18 to 64 years with an opioid prescription and included 3,562,227 observations representing 401,488 individuals. A descriptive analysis and a multivariate logistic regression analysis were conducted. RESULTS: Results indicate a total of 14,516 deaths among opioid users in the study sample, of whom approximately 42% experienced at least 1 incidence of potential inappropriate prescribing practices. Regression results indicate that the odds of opioid users experiencing death were 1.76 times higher for those who experienced at least 1 incidence of potential inappropriate prescribing practices of opioids compared with those who did not experience any incidence, even after controlling for other covariates (P <.001). Moreover, opioid users in managed care Medicaid were less likely to experience death compared with fee-forservice (FFS) enrollees. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate a positive and statistically significant association between potential inappropriate opioid prescribing practices and deaths among opioid users in Georgia Medicaid, with FFS enrollees experiencing higher rates of death compared with managed care enrollees. Appropriate policies and interventions targeted at reducing potential inappropriate prescribing practices may help reduce the risk factors associated with mortality among opioid users in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E98-E103
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Volume25
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Source of Funding: This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01DA039930 and the Georgia Department of Community Health, contract number 2015012. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Ascend Media. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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