New Research Finds Link Between Drug Marketing And Opioid Overdoses

23 Janvier, 2019, 03:42 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Bloomberg News

By referencing overdose data and opioid prescription numbers from the CDC, they determined that for every three additional payments made to doctors per 100,000 people in a county, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids would rise 18% over a year's time. Researchers found that the more opioid manufacturers interacted with physicians, the more overdose deaths occurred.

It appears there's a link between drug marketing and prescription drug overdoses.

Researchers published the study Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Let's delve a little deeper into this: The study found that $39.7 million in opioid marketing dollars were targeted toward tens of thousands of physicians across the USA between August 2013 and December 2015.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. "Given the widespread nature of direct-to-physician marketing by opioid pharmaceutical companies, including paying for meals, we must take a hard look at these practices and provide guidance on how they can be better regulated in order to save lives".

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"Each meal seems to be associated with more and more prescriptions", said study lead author Dr. Scott Hadland of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction. "Our findings suggest that direct-to-physician opioid marketing may run counter to national efforts to reduce overdose deaths, and that policymakers should consider limits on marketing as part of a robust, evidence-based response to the USA overdose crisis". During the study period, mean marketing per county was valued at $732 monthly dollars, and accounted for a mean of 7.6 monthly payments distributed to a mean of two physicians monthly.

The Northeast had the highest concentration of opioid marketing, and the Midwest had the lowest.

Cerdá and her colleagues also identify their study's limitations.

Cities and counties in the Northeastern US that received some of the largest payments also had some of the highest overdose rates, including Salem and Fredericksburg in Virginia, Cabell County in West Virginia and Lackawanna County in Pennsylvania.

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