Painkiller Access Debated as Patients Suffer
The Huffington Post
March 9, 2012
Doctors are terrified of criminal or administrative investigations which can end their medical careers, even if they're eventually cleared, says Myra Christopher of the Center for Practical Bioethics.
"They feel besieged. And it's not necessarily even a fear of criminal charges. It's about getting investigated, about having the DEA come and say, 'We'd like to look through your files.' You then have to pay for a defense, and take time away from your practice to defend yourself."
This, Christopher and other patient advocates say, is why it's so difficult for pain patients to find conscientious doctors to treat them.
* Policy Brief: Balance, Uniformity and Fairness: Effective Strategies for Law Enforcement for Investigating and Prosecuting the Diversion of Prescription Pain Medications While Protecting Appropriate Medical Practice
**News Release: Few physicians actually tried or sanctioned for improperly prescribing pain medications
***Podcast: What's Next? The IOM Report on Pain, The Bioethics Channel, Myra Christopher