Restrictions On Opioid Prescribing Are Negatively Impacting People With Cancer And Other Serious Illnesses

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"A growing number of restrictions on opioid prescribing are already impacting these patient populations."

According to a survey conducted for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Patient Quality of Life Coalition:

Patients answering yes to "Has your doctor indicated his or her treatment options for your pain were limited by laws, guidelines, or your insurance coverage?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 48%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 40%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 56%

Patients answering yes to "Has your insurance company or pharmacy required you to only have opioid prescriptions from one doctor?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 36%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 25%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 26%

Patients answering yes to "Has your doctor refused to give you a prescription for an opioid plan medication?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 35%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 25%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 36%

Patients answering yes to "Has the pharmacist give you only part of your opioid prescription (for example: for 7 days instead of 30 days the prescription was written), and told you to call your doctor for a new prescription if you need more?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 31%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 18%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 21%

Patients answering yes to "Have you been unable to get your opioid prescription pain medication because the pharmacist or pharmacy sent you home without your prescription because they had to contact your doctor before filling the prescription?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 26%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 30%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 22%

Patients answering yes to "Has the pharmacist given you only part of your opioid prescription (for example: for 7 days instead of 30 days the prescription had been written), and told you to come back if you need more?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 25%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 26%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 26%

Patients answering yes to "Has your doctor or pharmacist told you that you have been flagged in their system as a potential opioid abuser?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 21%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 14%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 11%

Source: 

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Patient Quality of Life Coalition, and Public Opinion Strategies. Key Findings Summary: Opioid Access Research Project. June 2018.
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