Changes in Opioid Prescribing Patterns Among Generalists and Oncologists for Medicare Part D Beneficiaries From 2013 to 2017

Question  How have opioid prescribing patterns for Medicare patients changed during the opioid epidemic among generalists and oncologists?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study of the prescribing patterns of 251 820 generalists and 14 210 oncologists, analyzing Medicare Part D prescriber files, the annual adjusted mean rate of opioid prescriptions per 100 Medicare beneficiaries decreased from 68.2 to 49.7 among generalists (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.73) and from 77.8 to 58.8 among oncologists (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.76) between 2013 and 2017.

Meaning  Oncologists and generalists had similar trends in decreasing opioid prescription rates, raising concern that access to appropriate opioid-based cancer pain management may be inadvertently restricted during the opioid epidemic.

View Content


CHIME Opioid Action Center

710 Avis Drive, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48108


Phone: 1.734.665.0000


Questions, comments? Submit your feedback below!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.