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Naloxone Prescriptions Among Commercially Insured Individuals at High Risk of Opioid Overdose.

JAMA Netw Open; 2(5): e193209, 2019 May 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31050777
Importance: As opioid-related mortality continues to increase, naloxone remains a critical intervention in preventing overdose death. Opportunities to expand access through the health care setting should be optimized.


To determine the characteristics of naloxone prescribing for US patients at high risk of opioid overdose. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used Truven Health MarketScan data from October 1, 2015, through December 31, 2016, of individuals with International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision codes related to opioid use, misuse, dependence, and overdose. The cohort included 138 108 commercially insured individuals aged 15 years or older in the United States with claims related to opioid misuse or dependence, opioid-related overdose, or both.Exposures: Outpatient naloxone pharmacy claims.


Demographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, health care service use, and proportion prescribed naloxone were included in multivariable logistic regression analyses to test the association of opioid risk group with naloxone claim.


Of 138 108 high-risk individuals (mean [SD] age, 43.4 [0.4] years; 72 435 [52.4%] men), 2135 (1.5%) were prescribed naloxone. Having prior diagnoses of both opioid misuse or dependence and overdose was associated with a greater likelihood of receiving naloxone (odds ratio [OR], 2.32; 95% CI, 1.98-2.72; P < .001) compared with having a prior diagnosis of opioid misuse or dependence without overdose. Having a prior diagnosis of opioid overdose alone was associated with a decreased likelihood of receiving naloxone (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57-0.94; P = .01) compared with having a prior diagnosis of opioid misuse or dependence without overdose. Factors associated with lower naloxone prescription included being aged 30 to 44 years (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.62-0.84; P < .001) and being from the Midwest (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.54-0.71; P < .001) or West (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.74-0.98; P = .03). Opioid use disorder treatment, such as use of medication-assisted therapy (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.53-1.86; P < .001), visiting a detoxification facility (OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.31-1.76; P < .001), or receiving other substance use disorder treatment (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04-1.30; P = .01), were associated with increased likelihood of receiving naloxone, as were receiving outpatient care from a pain specialist (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.40-1.76; P < .001), psychologist (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.29-1.70; P < .001), or surgeon (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.32; P < .001). Overall, 98.5% (n = 135 973) of high-risk patients did not received naloxone, despite many interactions with the health care system, including 88 618 hospitalizations, 229 680 emergency department visits, 298 058 internal medicine visits, and 568 448 family practice visits.


Patients at high risk of opioid overdose rarely received prescriptions for naloxone despite numerous interactions with the health care system. Prescribing in emergency, inpatient, and outpatient settings represents an opportunity to improve access.