There's an apparent crisis in opioid prescription drug overdoses, and private and public insurers are footing most of the bill for the drugs that are causing the deaths.

That's what a study cited in Health Affairs found. Researchers compared payments for opioid-based prescription drugs from 1999 to 2012, and saw an alarming trend in patient out-of-pocket payments.

Where most plan members' OOP payments have been increasing in general, opioid patient OOP costs fell during the period from an average of $4.40 per 100 morphine milligram prescription in 2001 to $.90 in 2012.

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