Did Physician Bias Save Thousands of Blacks from Opioids?

Physicians’ bias against black Americans meant they received fewer opioid prescriptions than whites in recent years, potentially saving thousands of lives. 

Using previous studies, The New York Times’ Upshot columnists estimated that more than 14,000 black Americans would have died during the opioid crisis had they been prescribed at the same rate as whites.

2010 Epidemiology study found that black Americans were half as likely as whites to be prescribed opioids. 

Other studies have documented a lack of sensitivity to black patients’ pain, according to Andrew Kolodny, Brandeis University’s director of opioid policy research.


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