press release from the
Pain Relief Network, http://www.painreliefnetwork.org
In response to a combined
state and Federal month-long series of hearings, purportedly aimed at curbing
abuse of prescription drugs, Pain Relief Network is calling for a moratorium
on government measures attacking legitimate pain care. Citing the
virtual collapse of pain care throughout the state of Florida, Pain Relief
Network's Executive Director Siobhan Reynolds is vowing to hold tough-talking
legislators responsible for actions that hurt and kill the most vulnerable
citizens of Florida.
"In an effort to appear tough
on drug abuse and diversion, Florida's elected representatives are attacking
patients in pain. Rush Limbaugh is a wealthy man and has access to
high-powered attorneys to fight for his medical privacy. But who
is standing up for the average Floridian in pain?"
Pain Relief Network joins
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the American Pain
Institute, and the National Pain Patients Coalition in opposing government
intrusion into medical privacy that will only further chill legitimate
pain management, putting even more patients in pain at risk for suicide.
"Patients in the worst pain,
those with the highest dose requirements, those are the people victimized
by this kind of legislation. With prosecutors and Federal agents
eager to score points in their war on drugs, Americans in severe pain raise
every kind of alarm on law enforcement's radar screen. Doctors already
turn them away in droves. Sick people have simply got to be excluded
from the list of potential drug war targets. Prescription Drug Monitoring
Programs only ensure that patients in pain won't get care."
for information on the pain patient march on Washington, DC, April 18-20.
-- END --
Prescription Monitoring Programs
are not effective. They do not reduce substance abuse. Illicit
prescription drugs on the streets come primarily from importation and theft.
Doctors' offices are not the source. Evidence: Kentucky has the "gold
standard" Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and their rate of abuse
of prescription pharmaceuticals is among the highest in the country.
Prescription Drug Monitoring
Programs are inaccurate. They misidentify legitimate patients who
are simply struggling to survive, labeling them "doctor shoppers."
The system cannot differentiate. With 50 to 70 million Americans
unable to access appropriate care, the mistake is foreseeable, inevitable,
Prescription Drug Monitoring
Programs have a chilling effect on legitimate pain management. Anyone
who thinks otherwise is ignoring all available evidence. Evidence:
David Joranson's studies at the University of Wisconsin Pain and Policy
Studies Center show that doctors prescribe less opioids, even when opioid
rugs are indicated, if they know the government is watching them.
If Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs actually worked to curb drug abuse,
perhaps one could argue that they had some merit. But since they
don't work, there is no value to offset this unspeakable cost.
Illicit prescription drugs are
now readily available through the Internet and through importation from
Mexico and other countries, utterly undermining law enforcement's rationale
for its focus on medical practice as a source for diverted prescription
drugs. Absent evidence that medical practice is a substantial source
for illicit prescription drugs, policy makers have no justification for
destroying patient privacy and worsening what is an already appalling and
disgraceful situation facing Americans in pain.
Issue #320, 1/16/04
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