Western Victoria study
Research conducted by two universities has confirmed the rate of prescribing the pain relieving drug Oxycodone in western Victoria is almost twice the Australian average.
The western Victorian prescription rate is 3.4% but the national average is only 1.9%.
The findings of the study by Deakin and Sydney Universities have been published by the Australian Journal of Rural Health.
The authors of the study believe illicit use of the drug in western Victoria is to blame for the disparity but say it needs to be investigated further.
“The [Western Victorian Primary Health Network] GPs did not see a higher proportion of older patients; therefore, the ageing population does not explain the differences in prescribing rates.
The three main reasons for prescribing Oxycodone in western Victoria are listed as back complaints, general pain and osteo-arthritis.