Sketchy 10% Of Doctors Are Writing More Than 50% Of Painkiller Prescriptions

While most doctors try to honor their oath to do no harm, some physicians just want to be paid (or are really, really, just horrible at their jobs). Take, for example, the 1-in-10 doctors responsible for writing the majority of painkiller prescriptions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently looked at painkiller prescription patterns in eight states — California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, and West Virginia — and found that a small percentage of doctors are writing a significantly large percentage of these prescriptions.

Anywhere from 49.6% (Idaho) to 65.9% (Delaware) of opioid prescriptions in these states were written by only 10% of physicians. The top 20% of doctors account for more than two-thirds of painkiller prescriptions in all of these states and more than three-quarters of prescriptions in six of the eight states.

In Delaware, more than 25% of opioid prescriptions come from only 1% of the state’s physicians. In Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, this elite class of sketchy doctor is responsible for at least 20% of painkiller prescriptions.

And these doctors are also writing prescriptions with substantially larger daily dosages. The more frequently a physician prescribed opioids, the higher the dosage tended to be. In general, the dosages prescribed by prescription-happy physicians were about double their more conservative colleagues.

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