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35 pct elderly on U.S. Medicare receive painkillers from multiple doctors

English.news.cn   2014-02-24 15:15:02

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Over 35 percent of seniors enrolled in Medicare receive painkiller prescriptions from multiple doctors in the U.S., according to a recent study.

The study from the Harvard Medical School analyzed 1.8 million seniors enrolled in Medicare who receive drugs called opioids.

Opioids include various types of painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Anupam Jena, the study author and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, analyzed a sample of 20 percent of subscribers to Medicare's prescription benefit, including 1.8 million seniors who receive drugs called opioids from 2010.

The result shows that nearly 35 percent receive a prescription from more than one doctor.

It also suggests that close to a third of the group receive prescriptions from four or more doctors.

Study co-author Pinar Karaca-Mandic stated that patients with four or more prescribers may be hospitalized for narcotics-related complications essentially and may increase the risk of injury and death.

Researchers believe that these findings give alert to the distribution of prescription drugs, with the potential to have new monitoring programs that could provide accordingly a limit of painkiller usage.

(Source: Agencies)


Editor: Yang Yi
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