Study: Primary Care Physicians Lax in Monitoring Patients on Opioids

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Physicians are lax in monitoring patients on addictive opioids, even those who demonstrate higher risk for misuse and addiction, according to a report published in the March online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, involved 1,600 primary care patients who received prescription opioid medication for chronic, non-cancer pain for about two years. Researchers examined whether patients received regular urine drug testing, were seen regularly at the office or received multiple early opioid refills.

The study found that patients with drug use disorders were seen less frequently in the office and were prescribed more early refills than patients without disorders. According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine release, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population has taken prescription drugs for non-medical uses in their lifetime.

Read the Albert Einstein College of Medicine release on opioids.

Read more on opioids:

-Opioid Use in Early Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects

-Pain Physicians Can Utilize Random Urine Tests to Reinforce Proper Opioid Use

-FDA Approves Opioid Analgesic for Breakthrough Cancer Pain

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