Determinants of Prescription Opioid Use : Population‐Based Evidence from Finland
Böckerman, P., Haapanen, M., Hakulinen, C., Karhunen, H., & Maczulskij, T. (2021). Determinants of Prescription Opioid Use : Population‐Based Evidence from Finland. Addiction, 116(1), 170-175. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.15071
DisciplineTaloustiedePolitiikkarelevantti taloustiede (painoala)Empirical MicroeconomicsBasic or discovery scholarshipEconomicsPolicy-Relevant Economics (focus area)Empirical MicroeconomicsBasic or discovery scholarship
© 2020 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction
Background and aims Previous studies have shown that prescription opioid use is more common in the socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in the US. This study examined the area and individual‐level determinants of prescription opioid use in Finland during the period 1995‐2016. Design Logistic regression analysis using nationwide data on filled opioid‐related prescriptions dispensed at Finnish pharmacies and covered by the National Health Insurance. Opioid consumption was linked, using personal identification codes, to population‐based data maintained by Statistics Finland, which records individual background and area‐level characteristics. Setting and participants Working‐age population aged between 15 and 64 years in Finland during the periods 1995‐2007 (n = 4 315 409) and 2009‐2016 (n = 4 116 992). Measurements Annual prescription opioid use was measured using defined daily doses (DDD) and whether individuals used opioids during a year. Findings Prescription opioid use increased in Finland from 1995 to 2016 (from less than 1% to 7%), but the increase was explained by the change in the treatment of codeine‐based opioids in the National Health Insurance. The area‐level unemployment rate was positively correlated with the share of opioid users at the municipal level (r = 0.36; p < 0.001). In comparison with being employed, being outside the labour force was associated with increased opioid use in 1995‐2007 (OR 2.22, 95% CI 2.10‐2.36) and non‐codeine opioid use in 2009‐2016 (OR 2.16, 95% CI 2.06‐2.27), but not with codeine opioid use in 2009‐2016. Conclusions Prescription opioid use in Finland appears to be more common among low‐socioeconomic status individuals, similar to the US and the UK. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Related funder(s)Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation
Additional information about fundingFunding from the Academy of Finland (310591 to CH) and OP Group Research Foundation (to MH) and Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation (6621 to MH) is acknowledged.
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