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Non-research payments to physicians associated with more opioid prescriptions in the USA

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A research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine assessed the extent to which marketing of opioid drugs to clinicians was associated with prescribing of opioids in the following year.1 From a total of 369,139 doctors who prescribed opioids as part of the USA’s Medicare programme, 25,767 (7%) had received non-research payments related to opioids in 2014 and these payments were associated with an increase in opioid prescriptions in 2015.

The authors compared payments to prescribers (using the Open Payments dataset) …

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