New Study from Dr. Lin and team reveals dramatic Under-Prescribing of Opioid Overdose Rescue Drug Naloxone
New findings by Core Faculty Dr. Allison Lin, M.D., M.Sc. and her team reveal that prescribing of naloxone may be missing a significant proportion of those most at-risk for opioid overdose. Although naloxone has historically been used mainly by emergency medical personnel in case of suspected opioid overdose, the Surgeon General, as well as CDC guidelines now call for quicker access to naloxone by patients at risk for overdose and their family members. However, the study shows that less than 2% of people in any of the key overdose risk factor groups had filled a prescription for the life-saving drug by the last 6 months of the study. A finding of further concern is that a patient’s history of a prior opioid overdose was not associated with naloxone fill. The study highlights the need for educational interventions that can improve patient and clinical knowledge, and policy changes to increase naloxone prescribing, the keys to increasing the availability of this life-saving drug to reduce harm from opioid overdose. Dr. Lin’s team included IPC Core Faculty Chad M. Brummett, M.D., Jennifer F. Waljee, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., Michael J. Englesbe, M.D., and Amy S. B. Bohnert, Ph.D., MHA, as well as Vidhya Gunaseelan, MBA, MS, MHA.