Prince’s death and Rx painkillers

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY: Until the FDA is serious, along with states, prescription drug pain medications are going to continue to be abused because they are too easy to get hooked on”.

A clearer picture is starting to emerge surrounding the death of Prince and prescription pain medications may have played a significant role.  According to one report he was renewing Rx’s as much as four times a week.  It’s obvious that either he knew how to “play” the system, or that safeguards were not in place to prevent abuse and addiction.

After I broke my shoulder in a bicycle crash I was given an Rx for a light painkiller, but when the doctor wrote it, he told me that the hospital only allowed two Rx’s.  After that I would have to use ibuprofen.  The sad truth is that abuse and misuse of pain medications can easily be prevented.

Everyone who receives an opioid should be entered into either a state or federal database with a social security number.  People who receive more than two Rx’s should be “flagged” and require additional documentation from other HCP’s.  Those who have a chronic need for pain medication, such as cancer patients, should get a special Rx card that is not transferable.  In addition, the FDA should investigate pharmacies and doctors who dispense and write for a high number of opioids.

HCP’s who carelessly write for opioids should be criminally liable is patients overdose and at a minimum have their licenses terminated.  60 Minutes recently reported on a doctor in West Virginia who wrote for hundreds of opioid prescriptions after patients paid for an hour seminar on pain.  He is currently being investigated.

Pain medications are a necessary product for chronic pain suffers, but it’s too easy to get addicted.  Time to get serious about this problem before another story breaks on opioid addiction.