[Pharmwaste] Overprescribing Documented, only 27% used

Ed Gottlieb EGottlieb at cityofithaca.org
Thu Nov 8 09:03:48 EST 2018

Medication take-back is one of many ways to help stop the opioid epidemic.  Unlike other approaches, it also addresses accidental poisonings and environmental contamination.

When asked about take-back, I say it is one of the easiest, and low cost, solutions to implement.  There are many other approaches that also need to be pursued, including:

Less over prescribing [see story below], alternatives to opioids, expanding treatment of opioid-use disorders<http://scholar.google.com/scholar_url?url=https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt0kg4v8c8/qt0kg4v8c8.pdf&hl=en&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm2aTKZwDfxS1GYDv_qLecSeoTHhHQ&nossl=1&oi=scholarr>, alternatives to incarceration, stricter enforcement (and more sever penalties) for deceptive marketing by drug makers, & ???  What would you add to this list?  Thanks!


Question  What factors are associated with opioid consumption after surgery?

Findings  In this population-based study of patients undergoing surgery in Michigan, 2392 patients used only 27% of the opioids prescribed to them. Prescription size had the strongest association with opioid consumption after surgery, with patients using an additional 5 pills for every 10 extra pills prescribed.

Meaning  Excessive opioid prescribing is associated with higher opioid consumption after surgery. Using patient-reported opioid consumption will improve postoperative opioid prescribing to better match patient opioid requirements.

Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Tompkins County Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381<tel:(607)%20273-8381>

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