Chronic Pain Patients Suffering from Opioid Rx Crackdown

the Psychiatry Advisor take:

Legitimate chronic pain patients not being able to get the medications they need to function on a daily basis may be an increasing, unintended consequence of recent crackdowns on prescription opioid abuse, according to a report on Medpage Today.

They profiled Chris Young, a patient with chronic pain from a spinal injury that resulted when a car he was repairing fell on him, and his pharmacist Bill Napier, both of Florida, and several other pain patients and doctors -- detailing the frustration both legitimate patients and ethically sound healthcare providers are experiencing in the wake of regulatory efforts to control the trafficking of illegal prescription narcotics.

In the past several years, Florida alone has shut down more than 250 "pill mills," or clinics were doctors were selling narcotics directly to people for cash, according to Medpage Today. Although law enforcement officials and federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents have been successful at closing those types of clinics, in Florida legitimate doctors are no longer able to administer narcotics directly to patients and prescription narcotic wholesalers, who have had to pay settlement claims in lawsuits, are now limiting the amount of medication they're selling to pharmacies.

Healthcare providers are warning that they're being asked to ration medications without a scientific basis, and patients with true chronic pain problems are complaining that they are being treated like addicts.

The chorus of complaints from patients and doctors alike has reached the Florida Board of Pharmacy, the entity responsible for licensing pharmacists and educating them on safe medication practices, which recently hosted a public meeting on the topic. You can read more about this emerging problem on Medpage Today.

Widespread Pain Increases Risk of Insomnia
Report details patient, healthcare provider frustration in the wake of regulatory efforts to control opioid abuse.
The accident happened 10 years ago when Chris Young was 35. He owned a salvage yard in Maui, Hawaii, and his employee had hoisted a junker on a machine called an excavator when the hydraulics gave out. The car fell on him from above his head, smashing his spine.
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