Warning over looming opioid crisis among patients with osteoarthritis

Prescriptions are tipped to rise to more than 3 million by 2030

Australia faces a prescription opioid crisis if inappropriate use among patients with osteoarthritis (OA) continues to escalate, epidemiologists warn.

packet of opioids

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

Their estimates are based on PBS data, which revealed that 1.1 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed for 404,000 people with OA in 2015/16.

Assuming current trends in opioid