Opioid scripts for osteoarthritis soar despite lack of evidence

Nearly 10% of the drugs prescribed by GPs are for OA pain

Australia is facing a worsening opioid crisis as inappropriate prescribing for osteoarthritis (OA) patients continues to rise.

Opioid scripts for osteoarthritis set to soar

More than one million opioid prescriptions are being dispensed every year for OA patients and this is projected to rise to three million scripts a year by 2030, according to researchers from Monash University in Melbourne.

Their estimates are based on PBS data, which shows that 1.1 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed for 403,954 people with OA in 2015-16.