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Amid an ongoing opioid crisis in the U.S., a new federal government report finds that efforts to revise prescribing practices and provide treatments for people who have abused opioids continue to make progress, but also warned serious concerns remain and Covid-19 may complicate the picture.

In 2019, about one in four Medicare Part D beneficiaries received at least one prescription opioid. Specifically, 26% of beneficiaries, or 12.6 million of the 48.3 million people enrolled in the program, received opioids. This was a drop from the previous year, when 29% of beneficiaries received the addictive painkillers through Part D and, significantly, the fourth-consecutive year of decline.

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