"One person dies every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose in the United States." "Approximately 80% of the world's pain pills are consumed in the United States, according to 2011 congressional testimony...." This from an article on CNN today.
The article talks about a proposal by the FDA to tighten control of our old friend Vicodin (aka Lortab, hydrocodone). It would no longer be possible for docs to prescribe the drug and refills for months. The patient would have to go back to the doctor for refills. Wow...what a concept. It also moves it from schedule 3 drug to schedule 2 drug which would put more restrictions on its use.
Its funny, because a couple of months ago I was having this very discussion with one of our docs about this problem and what could be done about it. Her answer: "Who am I to judge whether someone is having pain or not?" The typical cop out. So I told her that the only way this problem will slow down is for the government to regulate it. An lo and behold...its happening.
How will this affect the ER? Who knows. Might not change much. Docs only give out a small amount by prescription anyway. However, they may be less apt to prescribe it now with the restrictions
What a pathetic commentary on doctors in this country who are responsible for this epidemic (Ain't no one else writing those scripts). They couldn't regulate themselves so the government has to regulate them.