Daily Pharmacy News

Get your free subscription started now. Just enter your email address below.

Buprenorphine Dispensing to American Youth: Low & Declining

The gap between opioid use disorder and buprenorphine dispensing trends to youth aged 19 years or younger indicated that many individuals are receiving the help they need, a study shows. “Pediatricians could play a role in expanding access to [medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD)] for this high-risk population,” conclude the investigators. “Efforts to expand access to MOUD for adolescents could include improving training in opioid use disorder treatment of pediatricians and encouraging all clinicians who care for adolescents and young adults to … prescribe buprenorphine for MOUD.”

IQVIA data on buprenorphine dispensing trends among youth aged 19 years or younger from 2015 to 2020 were analyzed by prescriber specialty, age, and sex. Using weighted data to provide national estimates, the investigators report these results: “The rate of buprenorphine dispensed to youth decreased 25% over the study period, from 0.84 to 0.63 prescriptions per 1000 youth per year. The proportion of youth dispensed buprenorphine also decreased 45%, from 7.6 to 4.2 persons per 100,000 per year. Over the same time, the proportion of adults aged ≥20 years dispensed buprenorphine increased 47%, from 378 to 593 persons per 100,000. Differences in dispensing by sex and temporal trends were also noted. Pediatricians accounted for less than 2% of all prescriptions dispensed.”

Source: Pediatrics