National Pain Report recently call attention to Part 1 of a 3 part series in which Fox News focused on “the nation’s struggle to address a crippling opioid crisis, and the unintended victims left in its wake.” In case you missed it, you can click here for the full story.
Now, they have published Part 2 of their series – “Doctors caught between struggling opioid patients and crackdown on prescriptions“, telling the story of the interference that the CDC’s guidelines for prescribing opioids has created for healthcare professionals in treating pain patients – including Montana Physician Mark Ibsen, who has contributed to National Pain Report on several occasions. (You can read articles from Dr. Ibsen here.)
Created as part of a response to the Nation’s “opioid crisis,” the guidelines may never have been intended to be law; none-the-less, many hospitals and pharmacies responded abruptly by adopting these guidelines as such, and have reduced or stopped the prescription of opioids rather than risk scrutiny from the DEA.
The article describes, “Health care providers who prescribe opioids, particularly to high-impact chronic pain patients, are finding themselves on the radar of any number of sources – pharmacists, state medical boards, insurers, and law enforcement.” Essentially a crack-down on a physician’s ability to prescribe opioids, this has created an environment in which physicians risk “losing hospital admitting privileges – and perhaps even their medical license.”
One survey noted in the article “showed about 70 percent of nearly 9,000 physicians nationwide were prescribing fewer opioids.”
While very little of this article will come as a surprise to chronic pain patients, the article is well written and does a good job of educating the general public on the “other side’ of the “opioid crisis.” – hopefully they are paying attention.
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