Who are the principal prescribers of opioids in the United States?
As a group, primary care physicians are the largest prescribers of opioids ( including both short-acting and long-acting opioid) in the United States. Pain physicians provide less than 6% of short-acting opioids prescriptions, but they are responsible for about 23% of extended-release opioid prescriptions. Orthopedic surgeons write for a significant percentage of short-acting opioids. A mix of other specialists is responsible for the remainder of opioid prescriptions.