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Friday, August 27, 2010

Five Medical Societies Create A Prescription Medication Tip Sheet

A number of doctors recklessly prescribe medications that are classified as narcotics and as a result many people have become addicted and/or overdosed. We hear about it all the time in the news, those cases where celebrities have been involved; but, that is a fragment of the population, more people are addicted to prescription drugs than any other narcotic. In the last couple years there has been a cry for reform within the medical community, a demand for guidelines to be set so that drugs are not prescribed to people who do not require them. What's more those addicts who are in Long term treatment will be prescribed things that may not be conducive to their recovery.

A "Tip Sheet on Prescribing for Controlled Substances in Long Term Care" was created by five medical societies. The groups include the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), AMDA-Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine (AMDA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). The "Tip sheet" will assist physicians and other prescribers to stay in line with the regulations set by the DEA for prescribing controlled substances to residents in long term care. "Currently, DEA interpretation of the existing regulation means that patients are going without needed pain relief. This simply should not be happening," said Cheryl Phillips, MD, AGS Board Chair. "We believe it's essential that practitioners have information about complying with the DEA regulations, and so we worked collaboratively to develop this tip sheet ... A long-term solution must be found, and we are encouraged by the deep interest of Congressional leaders, including Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl, in this issue. AGS believes that revising the law to recognize that nurses, pharmacists, and physicians in the nursing home setting - just as in the hospital - are working together will ensure that all patients receive high quality care".

People who are in long term treatment are often in need of narcotics despite their addictions, if someone is in pain it makes focusing on recovery that much harder. There are countless cases when people in treatment do not get what they need because of government restrictions on prescribing certain medications. The prescribing of narcotics should be left to professionals to decide what is needed; red tape gets in the way in these situations. Prescription medication around the world needs reform and this is a good start.

American Geriatrics Society

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