Sunday, July 02, 2006

How one physician escaped the panic over prescription drugs

How one physician escaped the panic over prescription drugs: "Dozens of doctors have been prosecuted for "overprescribing" painkillers. The Justice Department and the DEA have pushed this aggressive new campaign in the war on drugs. First, prosecutors blitz local media with reports of out-of-control prescription drug abuse problems and discuss the problem of "pill mills." Then, they swoop in with a SWAT team and arrest any doctor brave enough to actually treat chronic pain with doses of opioid medication large enough to work. They call him a "drug dealer" and "pusher with a pen. Usually, the media buy the tale of evil substances and vile physician-pushers. But Reynolds offered a more compelling alternative narrative. She brought the suffering patients into the media eye. Rather than telling the tale of an evil drug-dealing doctor who brings down the poor addict, she and the patients provided another version of the story, in which the wonderful healer allows his grateful patients to function—until the cops drag him away."
I am glad for once someone focussed on the fact that the doctor was providing a useful service to his patients ! Unfortunately, it's easy to paint doctors as villains and bash them up - and unfortunately, when they are down and out, no one comes to their aid !

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