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Hadland SE, Cerdá M, Li Y, Krieger MS, Marshall BDL. Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing of Opioid Products to Physicians With Subsequent Opioid Prescribing. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(6):861–863. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1999
Despite the increasing contribution of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl to opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States, 40% of deaths involve prescription opioids.1 Prescription opioids are commonly the first opioid encountered in a trajectory toward illicit consumption.2 Although opioid prescribing has declined nationally, rates in 2015 were triple those in 1999 and remain elevated in regions of the country with higher numbers of overdoses.3
Pharmaceutical industry marketing to physicians is widespread, but it is unclear whether marketing of opioids influences prescribing.4 We studied the extent to which pharmaceutical industry marketing of opioid products to physicians during 2014 was associated with opioid prescribing during 2015.
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