Since the war on Opioids began, fewer and fewer prescriptions for pain medication have been written yet the number of Fentanyl overdoses continues to rise exponentially. Like many other crises in our country, lawmakers point the finger instead of solving the problem.
Instead of more law enforcement and stiffer jail terms to deal with the street drug crisis they keep pounding on doctors about writing prescriptions for millions of pain patients every day.
The problem has gotten so bad that more doctors have stopped writing pain med prescriptions, others refusing to give pain meds after surgery, and two weeks ago I read where a woman who was dying of cancer who was refused pain medication.
This is what happens when pain patients aren’t taken care of. Recently in Tulsa, OK a man went into his surgeon’s office and killed him and three others. The man had back surgery early in May and had been calling the office repeatedly due to his pain levels. He called that morning again trying to get some pain relief. A couple of hours later four people are dead. I later heard a doctor on the news saying that the man should have been on pain medication for at least another month for the type of back surgery he had. I think we’ll see more of these types of crimes as the DEA pushes harder on doctors to stop writing pain prescriptions.
I know there are always a few bad apples and yes, there were and are doctors out there who are overprescribing but not enough to create this monster on our hands. I believe overall doctors are professional when it comes to pain management, not only from the stories I’ve heard but from my own experience as a pain patient.
I’ve only had two pain management doctors and they were the polar opposite but had measures in place to manage your medication. Both doctors required face-to-face appointments with the doctor to refill your prescription and most required a urine sample. The urine sample is how you know and control what your patients are taking. They test for many drugs, not just pain medication.
It’s not just doctors, pharmacies have gotten into the action! It stems from a bill that was spearheaded by Elizabeth Warren that stated among other things that doctors could write a two-week prescription. Why this was in there is beyond me because I’ve had doctors write two weeks or fewer prescriptions before. Not to mention that doctors know how they can write prescriptions. This is how lawmakers knowingly or not open the door to interpretation by other non-lawmakers.
CVS took it upon itself to conquer the opioid crisis by setting its own initiatives on how to tackle the problem. One of the issues was pharmacists started to decide on their own to only fill for two weeks at a time or make the person wait until they had only one day left to pick up their medication. You can see the huge problem here. CVS finally pays for its poor judgment with a small slap on the wrist.
This is an example of how far back the problems go and it started long before. Here’s a post I wrote in 2017 about CVS’s policy on Opioids. CVS was hit with an individual lawsuit and after years of litigation has to pay $1,190,000 in damages including $550k for pain and suffering + $300k for future medical expenses for taking matters and the law into their own hands.
Please read the reference material, it is a good look inside the problem.
We’re all tired of hearing about the problem, getting no answers, and our government blindly doubling down but we have to keep raising our voices or nothing changes and only gets worse. If you are not treated properly by a doctor of any type, write to the State Medical Board and your state representatives.