‘Troubling Situation’: Doctors Wrestle With How To Help Patients With Pain During Opioid Epidemic
A Washington doctor cut a patient's oxycontin prescription by a third fearing he'd overdose. Later, she felt compelled to increase the prescription. In Tennessee, a pain clinic closed, leaving patients without pain prescriptions and unable to find new doctors to fill them. Other news on the epidemic looks at Idaho's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for its ''deadly marketing campaign."
Amid Pressure To Prescribe Fewer Opioids, Doctors Struggle To Ease Patients’ Pain
In Washington, the rates of patients getting opioid prescriptions and subsequently overdosing have dropped sharply — about 40% since 2009 in the case of deaths due to opioids received from health-care providers. But heroin deaths have spiked — more than fourfold since 2009, taking the lives of 306 residents in 2017. Street fentanyl has also proved increasingly fatal. As a result, there’s been little progress in driving down the rate of opioid overdoses overall, but it hasn’t kept climbing here as it has nationally. (Shapiro, 6/9)
Pain Clinics Abandoned Patients Without Medicine Or Medical Records
[Michele] Bone is one of countless patients who have been abandoned by Rinova, a chain of six pain clinics in Tennessee and Virginia that abruptly closed their doors last month. Rinova promised outgoing patients it would send one more prescription through the mail and release their medical records once they had found new doctors, but numerous ex-patients say these promises have not been kept, stranding many without medication. (Kelman, 5/7)
Idaho Sues Purdue Pharma, Says Family Has Profited From Opioid Crisis
Idaho's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family, the company's owners, accusing them of profiting off of the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic. ABC News reported that Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R) filed suit Monday, claiming that Purdue and members of the Sackler family mounted one of the "deadliest marketing campaigns in history" to urge doctors to prescribe opiates to patients despite the risks of addiction. (Bowden, 6/7)