July 10, 2012 4:28 pm
Drugmakers that market powerful painkiller medications will be required to fund training programs to help U.S. doctors and other health professionals safely prescribe the drugs, which are blamed for thousands of fatal overdoses each year. The safety plan released by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday is designed to reduce misuse and abuse of long-acting opioid pain relievers, which include forms of morphine, methadone and oxycodone. The agency’s plan mainly involves educating doctors and patients about appropriate use of the drugs.
June 1, 2012 8:46 am
When a new patient comes into Dr. Shawn Jones’ office in Paducah, Kentucky complaining of pain and asks for a specific drug without talking about other symptoms, Jones gets suspicious. “The first thing they say is they’re in horrible pain and they need pain medicine,” said Jones. “The other thing that gives it away is they want to tell you what works – they tell you they want Percocet. They don’t talk about their symptoms – they don’t say, ‘Oh, two weeks ago I hurt my back.'” These are the types of red flags that can send Kentucky doctors to check a state database to see if a patient is “doctor shopping” for addictive painkillers.