Barriers to Availability of Legal Opioid Analgesics in the US

"The most common reason cited as a barrier to opioid availability was low demand (93.1%). However, this did not vary by opioid analgesic sufficiency, pharmacy racial composition, pharmacy type, level of zip code urbanization, level of opioid analgesic supply, median age, household income, or proportion of residents ?65 years old. The fear that patients might use opioid analgesics for illicit purposes was the second most prevalent barrier identified (8.5%). Concern with illicit opioid analgesic use was more likely to be reported as a barrier by pharmacies with insufficient opioid analgesic supplies when compared with those with sufficient supplies (30.3% vs 4.3%; P ? .01). Again, this did not vary by pharmacy racial composition, pharmacy type, level of zip code urbanization, median age, household income, or proportion of residents ?65 years old. Too much paperwork (1%) and fear of robbery (1%) were rarely identified as potential reasons for opioid analgesic unavailability. Measures of association between covariates and barriers were not computed for the least common barriers (ie, too much paperwork, fear of robbery, and drug disposal regulations) because of empty cells. Other responses cited for failing to supply opioid analgesics (eg, pharmacy was located in a small community, pharmacy was near a major medical center, and community residents do not have adequate health insurance coverage) were of low frequency and were not analyzed further."

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Carmen R. Green, S. Khady Ndao-Brumblay, Brady West, and Tamika Washington, "Differences in Prescription Opioid Analgesic Availability: Comparing Minority and White Pharmacies Across Michigan," The Journal of Pain - October 2005 (Vol. 6, Issue 10, Pages 689-699, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2005.06.002), p. 694.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...

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