Trends in controlled-release oxycodone (OxyContin®) prescribing among medicaid recipients in Kentucky, 1998-2002

Jennifer R. Havens, Jeffrey C. Talbert, Walker Robert, Leedham Cynthia, Carl G. Leukefeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Context: Prescription opioid abuse has emerged as a public health problem, particularly in rural America. Purpose: To examine temporal and geographic trends in rates of controlled-release oxycodone (OxyContin) prescribing for Kentucky Medicaid recipients. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was completed in which the state was divided into 3 regions (distressed Appalachia, Appalachia, and other Kentucky), and data from Medicaid pharmacy claims from 1998 to 2002 were analyzed. Claims were further stratified by disability status. Findings: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Medicaid recipients in distressed Appalachia were more likely than those in other Kentucky regions to file controlled-release oxycodone claims in 1999, 2001, and 2002. Even after adjusting for the proportion of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients in each region, the distressed region still had significantly higher rates (P<.05) than the non-Appalachian region of controlled-release oxycodone prescription claims among Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients. Similar findings were observed for disabled Medicaid recipients in 2002. Conclusions: Higher rates of claims for controlled-release oxycodone in the distressed Appalachian region of Kentucky suggest that economic and health factors unique to this area may be contributing to increased use of this product. The increased availability of controlled-release oxycodone in distressed Appalachian regions may facilitate abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-278
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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