We be Jammin’
With apologies to JAMA Internal Medicine, there is good news to report as highlighted in a JAMA research letter and Pain News Network.
A little over a year ago, the DEA rescheduled hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II, due to its high abuse potential. Researchers analyzed prescription trends focusing on three years before and one year after the rescheduling.
The “jammin’” results on hydrocodone usage are as follows:
- Abrupt and marked decline in prescriptions;
- 26.3 million fewer hydrocodone combination products;
- 1.1 billion fewer hydrocodone tablets.
Most of this decline was in refill requests, and surgeons and primary care physicians accounted for the largest decrease. Interestingly, there was a modest increase in pain medicine specialist prescription patterns.
This study merely confirms my long-term contention that many refills over the last few years were “unnecessary and inappropriate,” not to mention expensive.
The work goes on. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “Be jammin’ but verify.”
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