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n the latest bid to stem the opioid epidemic, investigators at the Department of Health and Human Services have identified excessive prescribing patterns in Medicare Part D involving hundreds of doctors and plan to work with law enforcement authorities to curtail the practice.

In a new report, the HHS Office of Inspector General found that 401 prescribers last year wrote more than 256,200 prescriptions for nearly 90,000 Part D beneficiaries who were deemed to be at serious risk because they received “extreme” amounts of opioids or appeared to be doctor shopping.

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  • Ed, it would nice if we could have those 1/3 Part D recipients receiving opioids stratified into cancer patients and noncancer patients. Given the age of the population my guess that the 33% of elderly opioid users is overrepresented by cancer patients, which would make the 1/3 ratio a bit less alarming than it otherwise might seem.

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