All You Have To Do Is Check

Painkillers are a problem.   As a doctor, you are damned if you do and you are are damned if you don’t.  A new report from a Cambridge-based research group found that many docs prescribing narcotics in Massachusetts for injured workers fail to follow recommended treatment guidelines for monitoring their patients.    Here is a surprise: nearly one in 12 injured workers who are prescribed narcotics are still using them three to six months later.   Pretty soon doctors are going to be found liable for addicting these patients.   The bottom line is that narcotics are habit-forming and should be used for short periods of time in most cases.  Every doctor should check their state Prescription Monitoring Program and grill patients about their med use.  If they lie then they don’t get a pain pill.  We have to be that diligent.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  7 comments for “All You Have To Do Is Check

  1. Greg Salard
    October 6, 2012 at 1:21 am

    OK. So what do you do when you write a RX for 30 tabs with 1 refill, but the pharmacist fills it for 60 tabs with 0 refills? When confronted about this he then tells me he did it because Medicaid won’t pay him for the refill within 30 days of the original RX. I reported it to the state board of pharmacy, who investigated and then sent a letter informing me that the pharmacist didn’t do anything wrong. Any suggestions? Is it worth my trouble to pursue it farther? Or do I just never write refills on controlled substances?

    • Doug Farrago
      October 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

      I have no idea what to tell you. Wow.

  2. Richard C. Towne, DDS
    October 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The biggest problem that I see is that doctors write for too many pills in the prescription. When I was in practice [retired after 58 years], I wrote for exactly what I thought would be necessary, NO MORE… Then I was very antsy about further scrips…..RCT.

  3. big picture doc
    October 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve been saying this for thirty six years and have even left jobs because I was forced to hand out narcs like candy. None of those “smart” [acutally dammed stupid] doctors would listen to me, but oh would those sheep listen to big pharma and the “pain societies”. Makes me want to puke.

  4. Pat
    October 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    When looking forward to engaging in this work, it never occurred to me that I would have to be responsible for other peoples’ misbehavior. I was trained to be a counselor, not a damn nanny or some surrogate parent for any joker who wants to chuck self-responsibility. It is both demeaning and infuriating that society now attempts to put that obligation on me, a burden that I refuse to accept.

  5. Craig
    October 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    If they lie, they don’t get pain meds. Period. And nowadays, people don’t even see the problem with the lie. “Sure, I lied, but I’m in pain”. Lying breaks the doctor patient relationship. What if doctors lied? “Sure you have chest pain and peaked T waves, but it’s just gas”.

    • Doug Farrago
      October 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!

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