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A nationwide study of the extent and factors associated with fentanyl use in Australia

Gisev, N, Larance, B, Cama, E, Nielsen, S, Roxburgh, A, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X and Degenhardt, L 2017 , 'A nationwide study of the extent and factors associated with fentanyl use in Australia' , Research in social & administrative pharmacy , pp. 1-6 , doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2017.04.002.

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Objective: To examine fentanyl utilisation in the Australian community and determine the geographic and socio-demographic factors associated with higher rates of fentanyl utilisation.Methods: National sales data (supplied by IMS Health) were used to estimate fentanyl utilisation (in pack sales and milligrams) in Australia during 2013, mapped to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and Remoteness Areas. Socio-demographic characteristics and total population estimates of SLAs were obtained from the ABS. SLA-level data on sex, age distribution, income, occupations involving physical labour and number of pharmacies, were included in linear regression analyses to examine their association with fentanyl use.Results: An estimated 12.3 kg (or 859,518 packs) of fentanyl was sold across Australia in 2013, equating to an average of 0.55 mg/person over the year. Transdermal patches accounted for the majority (99%; 850,923 packs) of fentanyl sales. South Australia had the highest rate of utilisation per person. Rates of fentanyl utilisation were higher among more remote areas in three jurisdictions. Overall, higher utilisation rates were observed in SLAs that were less populated (β 0.12; p p p p Conclusions: Transdermal fentanyl patches account for the majority of fentanyl utilisation in the Australian community. There is marked variation in fentanyl utilisation across geographic areas, with higher use apparent in areas with a higher proportion of older people and indicators of greater socioeconomic disadvantage.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Gisev, N and Larance, B and Cama, E and Nielsen, S and Roxburgh, A and Bruno, R and Degenhardt, L
Keywords: analgesics, opioids, Fentanyl, pharmacoepidemiology, drug utilization
Journal or Publication Title: Research in social & administrative pharmacy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1551-7411
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2017.04.002
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Inc.

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