- Receiving opioid-related payments from drug manufacturers was significantly associated with an increase in prescribed opioids and prescriptions for more expensive opioids, according to an analysis of a national cohort of clinicians.
- The higher the payment a clinician received, the higher that clinicians' opioid expenditures, daily doses dispensed, and expenditures per daily dose.
Why this matters
- This is the first study to examine the association between opioid-related payments and opioid prescribing practices.
- Study identified 2 physician cohorts who received opioid-related payments in 2014 and 2015 but not in 2013 (n=6322), and in 2015 but not in 2013/2014 (n=8669).
- Each cohort was compared with a comparator group that did not receive an opioid-related payment in any year.
- Funding: NIH.
- Relative to the comparator group, physicians receiving an opioid-related payment in 2014 and 2015 had significantly higher:
- mean opioid expenditures ($6171; 95% CI, 4997-7346),
- daily doses dispensed (1574; 95% CI, 1330-1818), and
- mean expenditures/daily dose ($0.38; 95% CI, 0.29-0.47).
- Cohort of physicians who received an opioid-related payment in 2015 also had a significant increase in:
- opioid expenditures ($1031; 95% CI, 603-1460),
- daily doses dispensed (557; 95% CI, 417-697), and
- mean expenditures/daily dose ($0.06; 95% CI, 0.002-0.13).
- Findings may not be generalizable.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD