Naloxone Prescriptions Following ED Encounters for Opioid Use Disorder, Overdose, or Withdrawal

Commercially insured patients have the ability to fill naloxone prescriptions after experiencing an opioid-related emergency. A recent study led by PISC Postdoc Austin Kilaru, MD, featuring Senior Scholar Margaret Lowenstein, MD, MPhil, MSHP, Senior Scholar M. “Kit” Delgado, MD, MS and Executive Committee Member Zachary F. Meisel, MD, MPH, MA, evaluated the frequency at which patients filled these prescriptions from 2016-2018. Data from 21,700 patients was accessed through a commercial insurance claims database. Results indicated that only 1.1% of patients filled a prescription for naloxone within 30 days of an opioid-related emergency. Patients who had obtained naloxone the previous year had a greater chance of filling a naloxone prescription. Moving forward, interventions following emergency encounters should expand the distribution of naloxone, a life-saving medication in the emergency department.

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