Not many patients stop to consider if a pharmacy will accept their physician’s prescription. As time goes on, the pressure on the medical community over prescription drug diversion increases, and we are now seeing the new arm of the Federal government’s failed War on Drugs (CATO Institute) at the local pharmacy.
On March 15, 2013, the Colorado Conservative Examiner addressed an undisclosed physician’s concern over a letter they received from Kroger. Allegedly, the letter explained that prescriptions from certain members in the medical community would not be honored at Kroger pharmacies.
The Colorado Conservative Examiner called a local Arvada, CO Kroger pharmacist, Kroger’s “Policy” Customer Service at 1-800-576-4377, and emailed the Jefferson County District Attorney for more information (Read the Full Story Here).
Today, March 19, 2013, an emailed response was received from Jefferson County. One of the main concerns expressed to the JeffCo DA was, “How can a patient find out if their physician is blacklisted... other than at the pharmacy counter?”
The JeffCo DA suggested checking a practitioner’s license at: https://www.colorado.gov/dora/licensing/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx.
Also the district attorney provided additional information on the program that concerns some in the medical community;
The Electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was originally authorized by law in 2005 and reauthorized in 2011(C.R.S Title 12, Article 42.5, Part 4). The PDMP provides a secure database of controlled substance prescriptions that have been dispensed by registered Colorado pharmacies. The purpose of the database is to provide objective information to assist prescribers and pharmacists in providing appropriate treatment for their patients. The program allows practitioners and pharmacists to gather information about the patients they serve and to ensure that their prescribing and dispensing is appropriate for the circumstances presented. (JeffCo DA, email, March 19, 2013)
The program we created to ensure prescribers and pharmacists dispense appropriately for the circumstances. Who should decide, other than the original prescriber, what is, or is not...appropriate? Neither the pharmacist nor the bureaucrat actually examine the patient, have the training to examine and diagnose the patient, but the Federal government believes they have the right to delegate such responsibility and make the final judgement in a patient's care.
Prescription drug diversion ruins lives and destroys communities. The ultimate victim of drug diversion is the chronic pain patient, but government bureaucrats are not qualified to make medical decisions about the treatment of chronic pain. There are too many conditions and chronic pain simply requires too much knowledge to effectively manage... knowledge that is not made available to most physicians much-less government bureaucrats.
In the previous piece on Kroger Pharmacy policy, the Colorado Conservative Examiner revealed that physicians receive very little pain management training. The CATO Institute reports that for each qualified pain specialist in America there are 6,000 chronic pain patients in need of their help. Furthermore, most pain specialists are located in larger cities in the United States leaving much or rural America untreated or under-treated and pseudoaddicted to pain medication.
With such staggering results, it is hard to believe that the Federal Government’s answer is more regulation of the medical community, and additional invasion of personal privacy. Because of legislation like the JeffCo DA discussed, certain primary care providers simply will not prescribe narcotics, not even for acute (temporary) injuries/pain.
Practitioners do learn one aspect of pain medicine in medical school, the ramifications that accompany prescribing narcotics, and that is one “pain related” topic that's definitely stressed during their education.
The only answer for the pain patient is education. They must know more than the insurance representatives that attempt to deny medications, the patient must know more than a physician who tells them “they need to learn to live with the pain,” and they must know more than the bureaucrat at the end of the line who’s decision ultimately overrides their pharmacist’s and practitioner’s expert opinions.
To check on the licensing of a medical professional please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/dora/licensing/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx