Dr-Brian-Piper

Methadone is the Top Opioid by Morphine Equivalents at Veterinary Teaching Institutions in the US

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Brian-Piper

Dr. Piper

Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS
Department of Medical Education
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Scranton, PA 18510

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The US continues to be adversely impacted by an iatrogenic opioid epidemic. There have been increasing reports of “vet shopping” or diverting opioids from pets to their owners [2]. In humans, methadone is the number one prescription opioid when expressed in terms of morphine mg equivalents (MME) [3]. The goal of this study was to examine the changing pattern of opioid and other controlled substance use by veterinary teaching institutions. 

MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly describe the ARCOS database?

Response: The US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automated Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS) is a comprehensive data collection system where manufacturers and distributors report their controlled substances transactions. This information is publicly available in annual reports [4]. These substances are reported based on their distribution by weight to pharmacies, hospitals, and narcotic treatment programs. ARCOS also includes a business activity called “teaching institutions” where the recipient is to non-human animals. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The total MME for eleven opioids was examined from 2006 until 2019. This peaked in 2013 and decreased by 17% in 2019. Methadone accounted for two-fifths (42%) and fentanyl one-third (35%) of the total MME in 2019. Pentobarbital was the most common controlled substance. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The total MME for eleven opioids was examined from 2006 until 2019. This peaked in 2013 and decreased by 17% in 2019. Methadone accounted for two-fifths (42%) and fentanyl one-third (35%) of the total MME in 2019. Pentobarbital was the most common controlled substance. 

Citation:

  1. Piper BJ, McCall KL, Kogan LR, Hellyer PW. Assessment of controlled substance distribution to U.S. veterinary teaching institutions from 2006 to 2019. Frontiers in Veterinary Sciences 2020; doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.615646
  2. Mason DS, Tenney L, Hellyer PW, Newman LS. Prescription opioid epidemic: Do veterinarians have a dog in the fight? American Journal of Public Health 2018; 108:1162–3. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304603
  3. Piper BJ, Shah DT, Simoyan OM, McCall KL, Nichols SD. Trends in medical use of opioids in the U.S., 2006-2016. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2018; 54:652–60. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.01.034
  4. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/arcos/retail_drug_summary/
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Dec 20, 2020 @ 6:02 pm 

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