Study Finds Modest Decrease in Opioid Prescriptions after Insurer Opioid Prescribing Limit Interview with:
Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD
Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center
Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor MI 48109

Dr. Kao-Ping Chua
Dr. Kao-Ping Chua What is the background for this study?

Response: Almost every state has implemented a policy to restrict the duration of opioid prescriptions for acute pain, as have many major insurers. Prior studies have evaluated the effects of these limits on opioid prescribing, but there are no large-scale studies that have evaluated the effects of limits on patient-reported outcomes, such as pain control.

In this study, we evaluated the effect of a major Michigan insurer’s
5-day opioid prescribing limit in February 2018 on both opioid prescribing and patient-reported outcomes after surgery.

To do so, we leveraged our access to a statewide surgical registry in Michigan that has been collecting data on opioid prescribing and patient-reported outcomes from adult patients undergoing common general surgical procedures since 2017.

Study Evaluates Long-Acting Bupivacaine for Pain Relief During Knee Replacement Interview with:
Prof. Hemant G. Pandit, DPhil
Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine
Chapel Allerton Hospital, University of Leeds
Leeds, United Kingdom

Prof. Pandit  What is the background for this study? 

Response:  Knee replacement is highly successful for treating severe arthritis. There are 100,000 people who undergo knee replacement surgery every year in the UK, with numbers set to rise significantly in future. It remains however a painful procedure with nearly half of patients reporting severe pain post-operatively. Currently pain control is provided by injecting a local anaesthetic of bupivacaine hydrochloride around the knee during surgery providing good pain relief for 12 to 24 hours. However, patients typically experienced the worst pain the next morning when they are encouraged to bend their knee and get out of bed. 

Liposomal bupivacaine is a local anaesthetic preparation which can provide sustained release of pain relief medication over a longer period of time (up to 72 hours). The drug is costly and is used in routine clinical practice in the USA with previous studies showing varying results with the use of LB. We therefore (researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Leeds) developed the SPAARK (Study of Peri-Articular Anaesthetic for Replacement of the Knee) Trial, to test whether liposomal bupivacaine would be more effective at managing the pain compared to current treatments in patients undergoing a knee replacement.