Individual and county-level factors associated with use of multiple prescribers and multiple pharmacies to obtain opioid prescriptions in California.
- Author(s): Han, Huijun
- Kass, Philip
- Wilsey, Barth
- Li, Chin-Shang
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046246
Use of multiple prescribers and pharmacies is a means by which some individuals misuse opioids. Community characteristics may be important determinants of the likelihood of this phenomenon independent of individual-level factors. This was a retrospective cohort study with individual-level data derived from Californias statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) and county-level socioeconomic status (SES) data derived from the United States Census. Zero-truncated negative binomial (ZTNB) regression was used to model the association of individual factors (age, gender, drug schedule and drug dose type) and county SES factors (ethnicity, adult educational attainment, median household income, and physician availability) with the number of prescribers and the number of pharmacies that an individual used during a single year (2006). The incidence rates of new prescriber use and new pharmacy use for opioid prescriptions declined across increasing age groups. Males had a lower incidence rate of new prescriber use and new pharmacy use than females. The total number of licensed physicians and surgeons in a county was positively, linearly, and independently associated with the number of prescribers and pharmacies that individuals used for prescription opioids. In summary, younger age, female gender, and living in counties with more licensed physicians and surgeons were associated with use of more prescribers and/or more pharmacies for obtaining prescription opioids.