Annual trends in opioid prescribing for patients (Pts) with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC): CancerLinQ data analysis, 2010 to 2017

Despite opioid misuse and abuse, opioids remain a mainstay for management of cancer pain. Government, payers, and institutions have implemented policies to reduce opioid use. The impact of these restrictions has not been well known. This retrospective, observational analysis used de-identified EHR data from CancerLinQ’s Discovery database. The study concluded that Rx rates have declined since 2015, likely due to increased government, payer, and institutional restrictions on access. Hydrocodone Rx declined since 2012, perhaps exacerbated by reclassification from schedule III to schedule II by the DEA (October 2014). Rxs for schedule IV and III opioids (known to be of lower potency) increased modestly, likely due to comparatively fewer prescribing restrictions. 

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