Defining misprescribing to inform prescription opioid policy
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Dineen, Kelly K.
The lack of shared deﬁnitions around opioid misprescribing is problematic for formulating and evaluating opioid policy. For example, the variant deﬁnitions of “misuse,” “abuse,” and “addiction” complicate estimates of morbidity. Reported rates of misuse and iatrogenic addiction for patients on opioids range from 1 percent to 40 percent. There are also no widely accepted deﬁnitions of misprescribing and overprescribing. The many medical articles on overprescribing address different problems with different policy solutions: prescribing too early or too often, reﬂexive opioid prescribing post-operatively, and continued prescribing despite evidence that risks outweigh beneﬁts. Even the most carefully written policies rarely deﬁne “overprescribing” or “misprescribing.” I offer here a modest attempt at the categorization of misprescribing.
Kelly K. Dineen, Defining Misprescribing to Inform Prescription Opioid Policy, Hastings Ctr. Rep., Jul./Aug. 2018, at 5.