Opioid prescriptions outweigh naloxone 69 to 1, CDC says

While U.S. pharmacies are dispensing more naloxone prescriptions than ever before, the amount of opioid prescriptions dispensed still outpaces those for the lifesaving opioid overdose antidote, according to a CDC report cited by STAT.

For the report, the CDC analyzed 2012-18 retail pharmacy data on naloxone prescriptions.

Five report findings:

1. The amount of naloxone prescriptions dispensed at retail pharmacies doubled between 2017 and 2018. In total, naloxone prescriptions jumped from 1,282 in 2012 to 556,847 in 2018.

2. However, 69 opioid prescriptions are still written for every naloxone prescription, according to the CDC.

3. Rural counties were three times more likely to be a low-dispensing county for naloxone compared to urban areas.

4. Seventy-one percent of naloxone prescriptions required a co-pay for Medicare beneficiaries, compared to 42 percent for individuals with commercial plans.

5. About 42 percent of prescriptions required no out-of-pocket costs.

To view the full CDC report, click here.

More articles on opioids:

2% of US women continue using opioids after childbirth, study finds
CDC: Drug overdose death rate nearly quadrupled in past 2 decades
How Hospital for Special Surgery prescribed 500K fewer opioid pills in 18 months

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