A recent Express Scripts publication titled “A Nation in Pain” explores trends in opioid use, following 6.8 million Americans who received at least one opioid prescription between 2009 and 2013.
ProPublica’s analysis of Medicare Part D data found that 269 providers wrote at least 3,000 prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs (e.g., pure oxycodone drugs, Ritalin) in 2012. These prescribers were concentrated in several states, including Florida and Tennessee. Of the 269 providers, around one in five faced some kind of sanction or investigation. Some state medical boards and legislatures are shifting their focus towards prescription drug monitoring rather than relying on complaints to find abusive prescribers.