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As the opioid crisis accelerated a decade ago, pharmaceutical sales reps emphasized the benefits of the addictive painkillers, but rarely mentioned serious harms — and physicians generally believed the information was sufficiently useful to consider additional prescribing, according to a new analysis.

Specifically, the health benefits of opioids — such as tramadol and hydromorphone — were discussed in 78% of the interactions, but in 54% of the meetings, adverse events were not mentioned. Serious adverse events did come up, but in only 12% of the encounters. Meanwhile, safety claims, such as statements that the pills were well tolerated, were mentioned nearly half of the time, or 49%.

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