Presentation Authors: Austin Lee, Omar Ayyash*, Avinash Maganty, Liam Macleod, Jathin Bandari, Bruce Jacobs, Benjamin Davies, Pittsburgh, PA
Introduction: Extended release opioid formulations were formulated as a means of hopefully reducing abuse and dependence. Still the vast majority of opioid prescriptions written remain immediate-release. We therefore sought to investigate the influence of industry payments to physicians on extended release opioid prescriptions.
Methods: We utilized the 2014 and 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Open Payments database to identify industry-related payments to physicians for opioids. These payments were linked to physician prescriptions through claims from the corresponding Medicare Part D Opioid Prescriber Summary File database. We categorized 21 unique opioids into either extended or immediate release.
Results: We identified 14 companies marketing 10 extended release formulations. The top paying company was Purdue Pharma who spent over $13 million in payments to physicians. Purdue also markets more opioids than any other company (12 products) as well as the opioid with the largest contribution to payments (Oxycontin at $5.3 million). The median payment for extended release formulations was more than twice as high as for immediate release ($100 vs $37, p < 0.001). Among those receiving payments, there was a statistically significant correlation between increasing payments and opioid prescriptions. This was true for both immediate release (rho = 0.18, p < 0.001) and extended release (rho = 0.25, p < 0.001) [Figure].
Conclusions: There appears to be an effort to increase physician payments for Extended-Release Opioids. This is likely because these drugs are less prone to abuse and potentially helpful in addiction treatment.
Source of Funding: Bruce L. Jacobs is supported in part by the American Urological Association Data Grant and the University of Pittsburgh Physicians Foundation. The views expressed in this abstract do not reflect the views of the Federal government or Ben Davies.