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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pain Clinics and Chill Pill Mills.

Recently I attended a presentation by an Interventional Pain management physician, Dr Maulik B. Some of the facts that he stated were mind blowing.  I also read this article in Time magazine.
Some of the facts are stated below.

  • In Broward County, Florida there more pain clinics than burger joints. There are 115 pain clinics in the county versus 70 burger franchises.
  • 18 out of the top 25 Oxycodone prescribing doctors are in Broward county.
  • Deaths related to prescription drug use rose from 2,780 in 2006 to 3,750 in 2008.
  • Pain Clinics can be run by doctors who are not citified in pain management.

I personally have seen patients being prescribed 360 tablets of Oxycontin along with Valium and Soma. The street value of 10-20 mg of Oxycontin is 70-80 dollars. Just imagine if someone is prescribed 100 tablets of Oxycontin, that is straight $7000.

People are driving all the way from Tennessee to make a quick buck. When I initially moved to Florida, I remember that there was a clinic which was busted after authorities noticed that they had a sign outside that said “We prescribe Vicodin and Percocet”

I admit patients everyday with excess prescriptions for narcotics. I remember a case when I admitted a 21 year old young man with respiratory failure after a narcotic overdose. He was later placed on life support after being diagnosed with anoxic brain injury. His girlfriend used to visit him with their cute 2 year old girl. I used to feel bad about this little girl that she will miss out on her father. He died and 8 months later I admitted the girlfriend with similar presentation. She also died in the next few weeks. That little girl must be very lonely tonight.

So my friends this is the human factor in medicine and life.

About the picture: Happy M & M seen in New York.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should be more compassionate, but a part of me cannot help but feel happy for the little girl. She should now have a chance of a better life maybe with other adults who care more about her than to piss their life away on drugs.