US opioid prescriptions down 17% in 2018

Data from IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science indicate that opioid prescriptions in the US declined by 17% in 2018, marking the biggest reduction in prescription opioid use on record. The decline follows a range of measures taken by the US government to address opioid prescribing, addiction and overdose rates. The data show that in 1992 opioids were prescribed at a rate of 22 pain pills per person per year, rising to 71 pills in 2011 and declining to 34 pills in 2018. The report also indicated that prescriptions for low level opioids were relatively stable.