Clamping Down on Painkillers


You may have noticed all the new restrictions with using pain medications. Amazing. Wasn’t it just yesterday that pain scales were everywhere?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that EVERY patient needed their pain assessed on every visit?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that doctors were the bad guys for not treating pain enough?  Well, now there is a Clampdown on Popular Painkillers.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said it would reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs such as Vicodin and put them in the category reserved for medical substances with the highest potential for harm. The “rescheduling” means people will be able to receive the drugs for only up to 90 days without obtaining a new prescription.

Why has no one ever sued the Joint Commission over this?  They had the power to demand pain scales everywhere (and got it done) and, funny thing, these pain scales were provided by Purdue Pharmaceuticals.  Who are they?  Oh, they just happen to be the maker of OxyContin.  Hmmmm.  Now why would Purdue want to help the Joint Commission with this?  Why would the Joint Commission let them?  A lot of questions that should have been answered because there is a lot of addicted patients and illegal use of prescription drugs now.  But doctors are the bad guys, right?

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] 

  6 comments for “Clamping Down on Painkillers

  1. Chris Rhody D.O.
    September 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

    In my area this is more about diversion than abuse. And they complain like crazy, as do the insurance companies, about drug tests. Nobody has ever in my career actually shown up for a bill count. Pennsylvania is one of a few states without a database to prevent multiple prescribers. We would have one but there is a lawsuit pending that it is an invasion of privacy. Apparently, drug dealers have good lawyers. I really wonder that if the supreme court has determined that being an American citizen does not give you standing to demand a presidential candidates credentials, how did this group of lawyers get standing for this case.

  2. DrMom
    August 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Oregon’s among the highest prescription drug abuse and overdose death rates in the country, and my county is close to the highest in the state (intentional pun). Doctors got together and agreed on a policy of: Controlled Substance Agreement, Material Risk Notice, Addiction Risk Assessment, urine drug screening, recent imaging and nonmedication pain treatments. Narcotic prescriptions have gone down. Heroin overdoses have gone up. My patients who go to the methadone clinic periodically come up with new non-controlled substance RX requests for drugs that can enhance opiate effects. And there’s a local website where they can swap meds, rent prescriptions for pill counts, buy or borrow a whizinator.

  3. August 31, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Perhaps the physicians in California can look at Proposition 46. I will leave it to the author of the blog here to look at it. California is instituting rather draconian rules to prevent inappropriate use of illicit prescriptions – and has not only targeted the PATIENTS for aggressive scrutiny, but also the PHYSICIANS. The Medical Board of California is to do regular drug screens on its licensed physicians. If the dip-stick lights up, the lab contacts the Board, and your license is suspended before you leave the laboratory building. Gotcha!

    • Doctorsh
      August 31, 2014 at 9:33 am

      It’s not about the drugs, but more about control.
      Control what physicians can and can’t do and you now control the population.
      With these edicts it’s rarely ever truly about healthcare.

    • Doug Farrago
      August 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Have already blogged about it. It’s horseshit. Again, the doctor is always assumed to be the bad one.

      • September 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

        Update from Field Poll:
        “Proposition 46 would raise the state’s $250,000 limit on medical-malpractice awards and require random drug testing of doctors. The poll found 58% of voters were in support and 30% opposed it. Twelve percent said they were undecided.”
        “Bob Pack, (chief proponent of Yes on 46)…tells the heart-wrenching story of how his two young children, Troy and Alana, were struck and killed in 2003 by a hit-and-run driver who was high on prescription drugs.”
        “Up to 440,000 patients die each year because of preventable medical errors, the nation’s third leading cause of death behind only cancer and heart disease. State lawmakers have done little, despite problems with doctors under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the blight of prescription drug abuse and the state’s outdated restrictions on justice for victims of medical malpractice. (Yes on 46).”

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