Is there a inter-disciplinary feud starting?

The AMA recently came out at their annual convention with the statement:

Issued a warning against “inappropriate inquiries” from pharmacies to verify the medical rationale behind prescriptions and diagnoses, calling them an unwarranted interference with the practice of medicine.

Anyone with some common sense and paying attention – DEA agents must be excused from this presumption – knows that some 5% +/- of the population will abuse some substance – any substance that they can get their hands on… prescription drugs are probably a high target.. because they represent a very precise known entity.. both in quantity and quality…  gives the abuser some way to calculate over and over again.. just how close they can get to the edge … without going over it…

Again, it can be presumed that a certain part of our population has a  “greed gene” … it would seem that even some physicians cannot overcome or suppress the influence .. if they have that gene.

Over the last couple of years.. with the DEA “going after” the pharmacy community – even wholesalers …

The corporate pharmacy has been  forced to react.. in a very drastic methodology… WAGS recent fine was equal to 14 days of the corporation’s annual profit.  It has been reported that at least one chain has instructed its pharmacy staff to fax any controlled Rx to the local DEA office…  that they decline to fill.

Could this be viewed by some physicians.. that the chains that are doing this.. that the chain is helping to create maybe a false impression of a physician’s practice with the DEA?

What comes next… these chains establish a way to validate the ID of the person presenting a controlled Rx.. and those that present fake/false ID’s .. the chain will start filing complaints against the state medical licensing board against physicians.. who may not be as diligent as they should be… when accepting people into their practice and providing them with controlled substances.

The question that has to be asked… if a physician prescribes controlled substances for patients  – without really knowing if they are who they say they are… is it .. unprofessional, immoral, or illegal ?

One must ask the question.. if a person/patient will provide fake/false identification.. what else are they misrepresenting?

Of course, the same bureaucracy .. which the DEA is part of … provides, withholds, sets up a inaccurate means of identifying people and/or our ability to verify the identification of people/patients.

It has always been presumed that the basic underlying function of any bureaucracy… is growth and self preservation.. and the DEA .. seems to have done a good job toward such a goal !

Unfortunately, there are millions and millions of patients with subjective disease states.. .that have a legit medical need for these medications… that may find it more and more difficult to get adequate therapy to help them achieve their best quality of life…

Of course, it may be LEGAL.. since our Constitution only guarantees life, liberty and pursuit of happiness… there is nothing that guarantees a pursuit of “quality of life” !

2 Responses

  1. […] I recently wrote about the AMA resolution.. telling RPH’s to not call them about anything..  http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=3879 […]

  2. Last year, I had a woman come into the pharmacy on Sunday. One of the techs notified me that she was a ‘druggie’. She was on her cellphone. In a few minutes, I received a phone call from an emergency room doc and he started giving me a rx for Lortab for her. I said, “Doc, she is a druggie”. He seemed shocked and thought I had her mixed up with someone else. He said he would phone me back in a few minutes. Her cellphone rang and she had this long discussion. My phone rang again and the doc asked me again if I was sure that we were talking about the same patient. I asked her for her drivers liscense. Yes…doc it is one and the same person and she just got Lortab 2 days ago from a doc 75 miles away. He said he was going to tell her to see her regular doc the following day. Her phone rang and another long conversation. This time she left the pharmacy. Now, here is an emergency room doc that has not seen the patient and he is trying to phone a Lortab rx to a pharmacy. There has not been a check of the prescription monitoring program to see where and when the patient has gotten rx’s. Of course, this is not uncommon. The source of rx drugs for druggies is the docs! The DEA is concentrating on pharmacies. But, the pharmacies are simply following the docs orders. You would think they would concentrate on the source. But, I suppose that is too ‘logical’ and they make bigger headlines when they fine a big drug chain, and they get millions of dollars too.
    For as long as I have been in pharmacy, there has been people that abuse drugs. They find a physician somewhere that will write them a rx. Nothing has changed. For every doc the DEA shuts down, another one pops up. For these docs, the money must be too tempting. And, like that 5% of the population that abuse drugs, I suppose there are 5% of the docs that are greedy enough to turn their practices into pill mills. And, there are the docs that skirt the line between legit and pill mills. They have patients with just enough problems to allow the doc to get away with prescribing pain meds for the patient. We had one of those in my area. We thought he would be put out of practice, but he continues to write rx’s. Evidently he has enough documentation to get past the DEA.

    What the DEA is doing today is scaring the chain pharmacies into reducing the number of CII’s they fill. I don’t work with pharmacists that don’t screen CII prescriptions. I believe, that overall, pharmacists scrutinize CII’s thoroughly and don’t just fill anything. My guess is that the DEA is threatening the chains. It is not a matter of doing something wrong. The DEA is only interested in making headlines and fining the chains. So, they go after pharmacists and pharmacies, especially the chains. Just like the lawyers they go after the money. We don’t just have crooks out there trying to abuse drugs. We have these crooked government agencies that prey on us too.

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