Generic Vicodin Top Medicare Drug in 2013
An article this past Sunday brought to light startling data:
The most widely prescribed drug to Medicare D beneficiaries in 2013 was a generic version of the powerful prescription pain killer Vicodin.
Underscoring how at ease physicians are writing prescriptions of the drug despite potential for abuse, the article indicates that half of the prescriptions for the drug were written by family practitioners or internal medicine doctors and, though prescribed to both elderly and disabled beneficiaries, 45% of the claims were for people under age 65.
Voicing his concerns about the use, misuse and abuse of the powerful drug, Andrew Kolodny chief medical officer at a non-profit that runs drug and abuse treatment and prevention programs and head of the non-profit group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, states that “ Until the medical community starts prescribing more cautiously, rates of opioid addiction, overdose deaths, infants born opioid dependent and other serious health problems will continue to increase.”
The story is timely – the message to the medical community loud and clear.