STUDY: OPIOD PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED 7 X HIGHER IN CANADA, U.S., THAN SWEDEN

Sep 04, 2019

By Bob Komsic

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Patients in Canada and the U.S. filled opioid prescriptions after minor surgery at a rate far higher than those in Sweden.
Researchers found 11% of patients in Sweden filled a prescription in the first week following one of four low-risk surgeries (gallbladder removal, appendix removal, meniscus repair or breast lump removal), compared with 79% in Canada and 76% in the U.S.
Dr. Karim Ladha is a clinician-scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital and co-author of the study.
”There’s a lot of data, including this study, that suggests that patients are getting more opioids than they need for even just minor surgical procedures,” Ladha points out.
”The concern is really that we’re contributing to a supply of opioids in the community,” he adds.
Dr. Ladha says the study raises the question of whether opioids are necessary for pain management after surgery.
The study can be found in JAMA Network Open.
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