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Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in 2021: Annual Review

The opioid crisis remains a public health emergency. In 2021, there were nearly 103,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States. Identifying patients who are at-risk of overdose or abuse is key to addressing this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this need even more pressing. The pandemic has put people with opioid use disorder at particular risk, as they are more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and are more likely to be hospitalized or die from the illness. This data brief would provide information on opioid utilization among beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D in 2021. It would build off our series of annual reports. It will provide 2021 data on the number of beneficiaries who received extreme amounts of opioids through Part D and those who appeared to be doctor shopping. It will also identify prescribers who ordered opioids for large numbers of these beneficiaries. In addition, it will provide data on the number of beneficiaries receiving drugs to treat opioid use disorder and overdose-reversal drugs.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
July 2022 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in 2021: Annual Review Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-02-22-00390 2022