Concentration of Opioid-Related Industry Payments in Opioid Crisis Areas
The misuse of opioids has led to dramatic increases in opioid-related mortality with opioid-related deaths increasing by 345% from 2001 to 2016 in the USA.1, 2 The marketing of opioids by the pharmaceutical industry to providers is well documented, with 1 in 12 US physicians receiving opioid-related industry payments.3 However, it is unclear how or even if pharmaceutical industry payments are related to opioid-related deaths, or if disparities exist in marketing efforts for at-risk populations. We examined if opioid-related industry payments to healthcare providers were associated with opioid-related deaths by US county in 2016.
We used the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments General Payment 2016 database to examine industry (non-research, non-ownership related) payments given by county to providers in association with opioid drugs, as listed on the CMS Opioid Drug List.4We obtained opioid-related deaths in 2016 by county from the Centers...
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Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.
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