Steve Ariens is a pharmacy advocate, blogger, and National Public Relations Director for The Pharmacy Alliance. He’s a retired pharmacist who is launching a non-profit to raise money to fund legal challenges to what he and others believe are prescription practices that are not helpful. In this op-ed, Ariens outlines his reasons for action:
Have you ever had to deal with something for so long that you eventually say ENOUGH ! I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore !!! How many remember the movie NETWORK ?
While I do not have chronic pain, I have a wife who has been a chronic painer for some 30 yrs. While she is at a good point in her pain management right now, even though I am a Pharmacist, her path to this point in her pain management was not a smooth one.
I have exchanged emails and phone calls with other chronic painers all over the country. Their situations of being denied having their prescriptions filled for various reasons– some of the reasons can be described only as nebulous.
Patients are being discharged from prescriber practices because they use in-office urine testing products that have a known 20% =/- false negative/positives, but the offices appear to be totally ignorant of this fact.
Patients have told me that they have collectively approached dozens of attorneys and none would attempt to take their case on a contingency basis.
Last week I received an email from a Florida patient who had filed a complaint with the Florida Board of Pharmacy (BOP) about a Pharmacist refusing to fill the patient’s legitimate/on time/medically necessary prescription. The BOP’s response was that they considered the Pharmacist’s behavior UNACCEPTABLE. But no law was broken. Apparently unprofessional conduct must be a very high bar to have the BOP find that a Pharmacist has crossed that line.
A few of us has started a charity to fund the legal expenses of pursuing the inhuman/illegal treatment that patients have to endure.
If we can get less than 1% of those in the chronic pain community to donate $5 – $ 10, we will have a large enough “war chest” that experienced attorneys will be more than willing to consider legal action on behalf of chronic painers.
We understand that the vast majority of chronic painers are physically, emotionally and financially exhausted. Bullies usually target the most meek and weakest among us. If chronic painers pool their meager resources together, we can get some “hired guns” to do the fighting for you.
We estimate that it will only take a few WINS in court to get other attorneys interested in pursuing more cases on a contingency basis. All the people working on this project are volunteering their time; expenses are being kept to a minimum. We are starting out with chronic painers, pain advocates and some healthcare professionals putting all of this together.
Editor’s Note: The National Pain Report welcomes other points of view on this and other topics pertaining to chronic pain.