Method of prescription of opioids

>Janssen Cilag GmbH

PharmacotherapySupply curves

The objectives of the study on the prescription of opioids on the basis of the insured persons sample AOK Hessen/KV Hessen were the estimation of a 1-year treatment prevalence for opioids in total and by drug groups for the year 2000, a presentation of the temporal development of treatment prevalence and prescription for the years 1998-2001, the description of different groups of opioid recipients (tumor patients, patients without tumors with chronic pain therapy, therapy initiators, chronically treated patients) with regard to the type of drugs prescribed and the prescription intensity.

Evaluations show that opioid therapy is essentially provided by general practitioners. Between 1998 and 2001, a marked increase in prescription intensity (DDD per patient) can be observed. In chronic pain therapy, only about one third of opioid recipients use the recommended retarded or extra-long-acting preparations. With regard to the level of care of tumour patients, a clear increase in treatment prevalence was observed in the last year of life. However, it is not possible to conclusively assess whether this ensures adequate pain therapy.

The data of the study indicates that opioids are not only prescribed today for tumor pain: Only 12 % of opioid recipients had a tumour diagnosis; about half of the WHO level 3 opioid recipients had other than tumour pain. The estimates based on the prescription statistics of the drug index must therefore be corrected.

Duration: 2002–2003
Project partners: Prof. Dr. L. Radbruch (Clinic for Palliative Medicine University Hospital Bonn) | Prof. Dr. R. Sabatowski (Pain Center, University Hospital Dresden)
Methods: Statistical Analyses
Topics: Pharmacotherapy, Supply curves
Data: Claims data


Schubert I, Ihle P, Sabatowski R.
Increase in opiate prescription in Germany between 2000 and 2010 – a study based on insurance data. Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2013; 110: 45-51

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