Percentage of chronic pain patients treated by primary care physicians: 52%
Percentage of opioid analgesics prescribed by general practitioners, family practitioners, osteopathic physicians, and internists in 2009: 44%
53% of chronic pain patients treated on an ongoing basis are treated by primary care physicians.
In one study, only 1 in 4 high-risk primary care patients treated with opioids also underwent urine drug testing. Overall, only 1 in 12 patients in that study received any urine drug testing.
Worldwide, up to 22% of primary care patients suffer from chronic debilitating pain
Percentage of primary care physicians who would use complementary and alternative medicine to treat chronic pain: 82%
Percentage of primary care providers in one study who reported that available chronic pain treatment algorithms did not change their practice of chronic pain management: 79%
Percentage of primary care providers in one survey who:
- Conduct urine toxicology screens on all new patients treated for chronic pain before starting narcotics: 7%
- Perform random toxicology screen on established chronic pain patients treated with opioids: 15%
- Reported being concerned about patients abusing their medication (84%), patients becoming addicted (75%), opioid side effects (68%), and patients developing increased tolerance (60%)
- Low back pain accounts for 1 in 8 visits to primary care physicians
According to the CDC, "Most prescription painkillers are prescribed by primary care and internal medicine doctors and dentists, not specialists. Roughly 20% of presribers prescribe 80% of all prescription painkillers."