ABSTRACT: This paper examines the collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists in the outpatient management of patients on high-dosage buprenorphine (HDB) treatment.
A telephone survey of a sample of HDB prescribers in southeastern France questioned them about their knowledge, practices, and opinions about HDB treatment in October 2002; data from the national health insurance fund and the national statistics institute completed the study. Logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with collaboration with pharmacists. GPs' practices were compared to assess their correlation, if any, with this collaboration.
345 GPs participated in the study. Only 54% reported collaborating with dispensing pharmacists in managing patients on HDB, despite official guidelines encouraging it. Collaboration was independently related to training in addiction treatment, a favorable opinion of maintenance treatment by GPs, long experience in HDB prescription, and participation in a specialized medical network.
Implementation of recommendations on physician-pharmacist collaboration requires additional training in addiction medicine for GPs and the encouragement of their participation in medical networks. On the other hand, increasing the constraints on GPs may negatively affect patients' access to care.
La Presse Médicale 11/2005; 34(17):1213-9. · 0.67 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Since 1996, prescribing buprenorphine in high dosage as a drug maintenance treatment has been allowing French general practitioners to undertake drug addicts with a pharmacological support. In France, buprenorphine prescriptions seem to spread over general practitioners (buprenorphine was given to 74,300 patients in 2001). This paper assesses the different factors associated with buprenorphine prescription by general practitioners and with the different degrees of general practitioners' commitment in actually caring drug addicts with the help of buprenorphine.
Two representative samples of private general practitioners, either prescribing buprenorphine (345 over a population of 876) or not prescribing (355 over a population of 1380) have been questioned through a phone interview in the department of South-Eastern France in November and December 2002. Samples have been constituted with the help of a random stratified survey according to sex, age and volume of services (acceptance rate: 65.5%). Survey data have been completed with general practitioners' activity data from Health Insurance and local socioeconomic data from Insee.
37.5% of general practitioners have at least once prescribed buprenorphine during the considered period, but only 26% of the prescribers treated 75% of patients. Prescribers are most often men, younger than 49 years, working in the fixed fees sector and having group practice. They are also most often members of a health care network, trained for drug maintenance treatments and, from an individual point of view, have relatives suffering cancer, or having HIV, or hepatitis C, or who are drug addicts. Low socioeconomic status of the area where GPs exert seems to be particularly associated with general practitioners' prescription of buprenorphine.
Data handled in this paper show that supply of substitutive treatments is concentrated among a reduced number of general practitioners and in particularly deprived geographic areas. Workload in deprived areas combined to great professional commitment in maintenance treatment reveals unexpected and unwanted specialisation behaviours by general practitioners, as well as more isolated behaviours by general practitioners who do not ask for particular training program or help by colleagues. These results question the consistency of the general framework of support to general practitioners proposed by health authorities with general practitioners actual practice and needs.
Revue d Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique 01/2005; 52(6):511-22. · 0.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Since 1996 French general practitioners (GPs) may prescribe sublingual buprenorphine tablets as maintenance treatment for opiate dependence. The computerised data management of the main French health reimbursement system now allows surveillance of the use of this drug, and how it is prescribed. The purpose of this study is to determine the profile of maintained patients, prescribed doses, associated psychotropic treatments and how practitioners prescribe these treatments. This study analyses the 11186 buprenorphine prescriptions electronically transmitted for reimbursement between September and December 1999 in a specific French region. It was found that the 2078 treated patients consumed a mean of 11.5 mg of buprenorphine per day and 12% of them procured prescriptions from more than two prescribers. 43% of maintained patients had an associated benzodiazepine prescription, mainly flunitrazepam, often on the same prescription form. 61% of patients had regular follow-up, others had occasional consultations (21%) and another 18% had deviant maintenance treatment (more than two prescribers or more than 20 mg per day of daily buprenorphine dose). Benzodiazepine consumption was much higher in the 'deviant group' (71.4%). 85% of buprenorphine prescriptions were made by GPs. 21% of GPs prescribed buprenorphine and 61% of those had only one or two maintained patients. Buprenorphine prescription by French GPs is a procedure with no particular requirements, allowing many patients to easily access maintenance treatments. However, a high risk of abuse exists, which demands extensive investigation and evaluation of these practices.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 02/2002; 65(2):197-204. · 3.38 Impact Factor