Should Doctors Focus Less on Patient Satisfaction to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse?

Far too many health care providers are more concerned with patient satisfaction than they are with protecting patients from the risk of prescription drug abuse and addiction. This attitude is enforced by current teaching in pain management, which is largely based on a concern for providing relief for patients with chronic pain.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that roughly 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Healthcare providers have long struggled with the challenges involved with the long-term treatment of pain, including the need for escalating doses as patients become tolerant to medication and the risk of addiction.

Doctors and Hospitals Worry about Negative Patient Feedback

According to Sherry Green, CEO of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), education for prescribers needs to focus less on patient satisfaction and more on improvements in patient functioning. …

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Los Angeles OxyContin Pill Mills Raided

The pill mills of Florida have generally been the primary focus of a of media attention. However, we’ve seen some big OxyContin related busts in the southland of California as well:

Smuggling Ring Took Pills Into Mexico

Newport Coast Doctor Gets 230 Year Sentence

Rowland Hights Dr. Tseng – Doctor of Death Sued by Family of Overdose Victim

This week Los Angeles has some news on the Oxy Crackdown because  four medical clinics that were suspected of illegally dispensing prescriptions were raided.

Investigators determined that the San Fernando Valley clinics have been operating as pill mills, catering to addicts seeking narcotic painkillers and other prescription drugs.  The raids were carried out by local, state and federal investigators from the LAPD, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the California Department of Justice, the IRS and the FBI.

The investigation was prompted by …

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Articles Highlight Oxy Epidemic in Southern Ohio

We were sent two recent articles about the Oxy epidemic in Ohio.

New York times: Ohio County Losing It’s Young to Painkillers’ Grip

Excerpt:

Such is life in Scioto County, a Southern Ohio county on the Ohio river where a prescription drug epidemic crosses all socioeconomic lines, wrecking young lives from ramshackle trailer parks to cushy suburban homes.

Excerpt:

Fueled in part by a half-dozen legally operating pain clinics that dot Scioto County, doling out an estimated 35 million pills a year…

Thirty five million pills a year prescribed in Scioto County?  A county with a population of 79,499 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau).  That’s 440 pills per person (including babies, children, people who’ve never taken a prescription drug in their lives). Do you think we have an epidemic here?

Cleveland.com: Young Lives Wrecked by Prescription Drug Epidemic in Southern Ohio

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Positive News on the Opiate Crackdown in Ohio

In an article forwarded to us (6 men charged in Ohio Pill Mill Ring) , we see that Ohio is doing their part to crackdown on the OxyContin epidemic.  Authorities in Ohio are prosecuting six people involved in a pill mill in Waverly.  This is encouraging because you can read how unsavory the behaviors of the pill mill operators were:

The indictment alleges that the clinic was owned and operated by Nancy and Lester Sadler and Lisa Clevenger. The clinic operated as a “pill mill” by selling prescriptions for controlled substances (usually oxycodone), without a legitimate medical need for the prescriptions.

Many of the prescriptions were openly sold and diverted. Blank prescriptions forms were sold so the buyer could use or resell the prescriptions.

Additionally, the defendants allegedly created fake medical records and prescriptions for individuals who were not actual

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