Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The War on Pain-Sufferers and Their Doctors

From the Mobile Register, February 6:

"The DEA monitors the prescription writing habits of all doctors, and those prescribing high doses of OxyContin raise a red flag. Investigators go to work: Plea bargains win testimony from former patients. Indictments are filed.

"Trial juries hear from DEA-hired doctors who say that the use of high levels of OxyContin are outside the normal practice of medicine. Doctors for the defense give contrary testimony.

"Faced with conflicting expert testimony, lay juries tend to convict....

"In March 2004, DEA administrator Karen Tandy told Congress that her drug warriors have 'been successful in addressing OxyContin diversion, as evidenced by a reduction in the rate of increase of OxyContin prescriptions being written and a leveling-off of OxyContin sales.'

"But this cockeyed measure of success makes no sense. Respected experts estimate the pain experienced by 40 percent of cancer, AIDS and terminally ill patients already goes under-treated."

The full article by Ronald Fraser is here.

Hat tip: Dr. Frank B. Fisher


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