Prescribing for Population Health (PPH) is an ongoing series that aims to support ICSs to improve the health of the populations they serve. PPHs use prescribing data, biomedical literature and other data sources to provide new insights.

In recent years, there has been increasing concern regarding the overprescribing of opioids and associated harms. The RDTC has produced a series of publications as part of the Polypharmacy and Overprescribing theme reviewing opioid prescribing:

Each publication includes considerations and interventions for medicines optimisation teams and health systems. To avoid duplication across this series of overprescribing and polypharmacy opioid publications, the suggested actions have only been listed in the most relevant theme but may apply across all. We recommend reading all parts of the series sequentially to ensure the breadth of potential actions are known.

This is the third part of the series which focuses on the population health management of patients prescribed opioids, specifically in terms of deprivation level and the impact on sustainability and climate change.

Use the following links to access the first part in the series entitled ‘Opioid patient populations’ and the second in the series entitled ‘Opioid patient demographics’

This publication is part of our Strategic Support and Planning contract. To gain access please email us at