Rates of long-term opiate use rises in Medicare cancer survivors each year after diagnosis

GALVESTON, Texas – Using Medicare data, new findings from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston show for the first time that the rates of long term opiate therapy – a 90-day or more supply of opioids per year – for older cancer survivors remain high for at least five years in cancer survivors. The study also showed that cancer survivors diagnosed after 2004 had higher rates of opioid prescribing compared with those diagnosed earlier than 2004. These finding were recently published inĀ The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.