Oxycodone overdose deaths drop 25 percent after launch of Prescgram


Oxycodone-related deaths dropped 25 percent after Florida implemented its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in late 2011 as part of its response to the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, according to researchers. The drop in fatalities could stem from the number of health care providers who used the program’s database to monitor controlled substance prescriptions.

Well, anything’s possible, but maybe, just maybe, the drop in deaths is due to the DEA closing down hundreds upon hundreds of pain clinics, along with numerous pharmacies.  The drop in fatalities could also be attributable to the fear that doctors have in prescribing medications on the DEA’s watch list, including oxycodone, and so just don’t prescribe these drugs anymore.

And now that oxycodone-related deaths (note the term “related”) have been reduced, pain patients in Florida are suffering even more.  Well, I guess it doesn’t matter, as long as the PDMPs are allegedly helping to reduce the deaths in one patient population, while ignoring the suffering and deaths in another, much larger, patient population.


Suicide deaths, 2013:  2,892 (7.9/day)

9th leading cause of death for Floridians
3rd leading cause of death for youth 15-24
2nd leading cause of death for 25-34
4th leading cause of death for 35-44
4th leading cause of death for 45-54

HHS takes strong steps to address opioid-drug related overdose, death and dependence


The President’s FY 2016 budget includes critical investments to intensify efforts to reduce opioid misuse and abuse, including $133 million in new funding…

Providing training and educational resources, including updated prescriber guidelines, to assist health professionals in making informed prescribing decisions and address the over-prescribing of opioids…

So, dependence is now the same as addiction.  Wonderful.

Too bad there’s not any funding to address the real epidemic, the under-treatment and mistreatment of pain.  I’m sure these “educational” resources will tell doctors to stop prescribing pain medications, and instead, just prescribe antidepressants, acupuncture and massage.

And the lives of pain patients are about to get even worse…

Sorry, Heath Ledger would not want this…


Heath Ledger’s father hopes prescription drug monitoring systems will help prevent more tragedies such as his son’s death…

So, Heath’s father would prefer that his son’s name had been included in a PDMP, a blacklist, as if that would have prevented his death.  As if that would have cured his insomnia.  As if he wouldn’t have been able to find drugs in the underground market.  This is so very, very sad…


Improving Use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs


Conference scheduled for June 2, 2015

Looking ahead: how can PDMPs be integrated with physician practice and help improve patient care?Join us as NEHI convenes a group of national experts to explore the future of PDMPs, physician practice and patient care.

Bob Twillman, PhD, Executive Director, American Academy of Pain Management

Do you believe that doctors and the American Academy of Pain Management are on the side of pain patients?  If you do, call me, because I’ve got some snake oil for sale, at only a million dollars per dose.  It will cure everything from a hangnail to cancer.

CDC Launches Social Media Campaign [shaming pain patients]


In an attempt to recognize prescription opioid abusers who have been working to change their lives for the better, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week launched a new social media initiative welcoming the stories of those who have been affected by prescription painkiller addiction.

The CDC launched its campaign, titled “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem,” this week at the fourth annual National RX Drug Abuse Summit. The social media activity, designed to raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse and overdose, will run through May 15…

That’s it, create a social media campaign that shames pain patients even more.  Make all pain patients, or anyone who wants to relieve their suffering by choosing pain medications, appear to be drug addicts.  After all, when people are afraid to seek out medical care, they do just fine managing their chronic conditions on their own, right?

Maybe the next campaign by the CDC could include stories of how doctors are abandoning pain patients, and how chronic pain patients are unable to find and receive health care.  Maybe the CDC could even highlight how many pain specialists there are in this country compared to the number of pain patients.

Hey, CDC, how much of your funding is siphoned through the DEA and the NIDA?

3/31/2015, Illinois Department of Human Services press release on PDMPs


More than 26,000 doctors and pharmacists and 1,100 dentists are using the system and sharing information with 17 other states…

The PMP began in 1986, and at that time monitored only Schedule II prescription drugs, including painkillers, such as morphine and hydrocodone. The PMP began collecting information electronically in 2000 and in 2007; the program was expanded to monitor Schedule III through V drugs, including Codeine, Vicodin and Valium.

In 2012, IDHS and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the PMP Long Term Care (LTC) initiative – an unprecedented opportunity to change the drug prescribing culture in nursing homes. Based upon concerns of the legislature regarding substantial use of behavioral health medications within the nursing home population, IDHS and IDPH entered into an interagency agreement to reduce the use of chemical restraints and improve the quality of care…

According to what I’ve read about long term care and nursing homes, there’s actually an epidemic of untreated pain in these patient populations.  Instead of utilizing pain medications, those in nursing homes are prescribed cheap “behavioral health medications,” to keep them sedated and easy to manage.  And then patients don’t complain about their pain, but if they do, no one listens to them.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s PMP InterConnect program allows participating states to share information on prescriptions of controlled substances. Through this network, IDHS’ PMP is better able to identify when patients have been issued duplicate prescriptions for controlled substances across state lines. The program alerts prescribers and dispensers when patients exceed recommended limits on controlled substances…

PMP is also working to integrate controlled substance prescription data into Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems to allow access to prescription information across healthcare networks, including emergency departments and short and long-term inpatient care.

Last year, PMP collected 21 million prescription records and 26,000 doctors and pharmacists currently refer to that clinical data on a regular basis. Participating pharmacists and doctors complete about 150,000 PMP searches each month.

As I mentioned in a previous post, once information is stored in your electronic health record, it cannot be removed, even if it’s not true.

Tribal Law and PDMPs


The primary purpose of the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) is to enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies…

The program was created by the FY 2002 U.S. Department of Justice Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-77) and has received funding under each subsequent year’s Appropriations Act. Tribal Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Data Sharing Grants (Category 4): Applicants are limited to federally recognized Indian tribal governments as defined under the Indian Self Determination Act, 25 U.S.C. 450b(e). Current Closing Date for Applications: May 28, 2015.

4/7/2015, Use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)


In addition to utilizing their state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, PCLS stresses the importance of educating providers and patients about the risks associated with opioid analgesics. Detailed documentation of your patients’ treatment and their patient opioid agreement is vital in ensuring that your patients and practice are protected. To aid our physicians in their ongoing opioid therapy practices, PCLS offers a compliance monitoring program that is designed to help providers establish urine drug testing protocols, understand what their patients are currently taking, reduce opioid related adverse effects, and increase their practice and patient compliance with controlled substances.

PCLS offers oral fluid and urine drug testing on more than 85 drug compounds, provides easy-to-read results, and the PCLSAware™ Report, which is a compliance snapshot of the physicians practice that identifies patterns of abuse, misuse, or diversion of medications amongst their patient population.


Missouri Senate passes prescription drug monitoring program


Missouri is the only state in the country without a prescription drug monitoring program…

“We’re taking personal information from individuals that have done nothing wrong and putting it into a government database, and I for one just don’t believe that’s what we should be doing,” said Kraus. “I think that whenever you take an innocent person’s information and put it in a database that takes away their liberty that takes away their freedoms.”

Sater said prescription drug abuse amongst teens is on the rise.  “It a major problem for the abusers and also for our kids,” said Sater. “We have a growing problem with opiate abuse in our teenage population also.” …

Actually, the problem of opiate abuse is not that prevalent in the teenage population.  Such fears are used to pass drug laws — you know, what about the children?  But the problem of opiate overdoses is found more in those over the age of about 30, on the increase in people above the age of 40, and mostly found in the patient population for those who suffer from drug addiction. Of course, statistics are one to two years old, and don’t necessarily show yet that drug addicts have switched to street drugs like heroin, increasing the amount of drug overdoses.

And I can’t wait until Missouri politicians and other high-ranking officials find themselves being arrested for suffering from chronic pain, ruining their careers forever.

Police department assists with passage of revised PDMP (Arkansas)


The PDMP has been extremely helpful in diverting medicine out of the hands of those that would attempt to “doctor shop” and work the system to obtain countless prescriptions for opioids (pain killers). It was discovered there was a missing link in the PDMP with law enforcement not being able to obtain vital information needed to charge and arrest those involved in prescription fraud operations…

Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane was part of a group that was instrumental in working with legislators recently to achieve an amendment to the PDMP that allows certain law enforcement investigators access to the prescription drug monitoring program to enhance investigative capability…

In addition to the BNPD, there were many others involved in the successful passage of this bill. The Rotary Club of Arkansas… The Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Arkansas Pharmacy Association (APA), and the Arkansas State Police (ASP) were all instrumental in providing input and support for the passage of this bill…

According to Chief Kirk Lane, “…We realize we can’t arrest our way out of this problem, but…

Indiana prescription tracking system (INSPECT) is in ‘crisis’


INDIANAPOLIS — A state system for tracking prescriptions has been “in crisis” and created a risk of exposing patients’ personal information, according to a state-commissioned report that Gov. Mike Pence’s administration tried to keep under wraps…

Still, lawmakers, who had to obtain a copy of the report through back channels after the Pence administration sought to force them to sign non-disclosure agreements to read it, remain so concerned about the program that they’ve sent the governor a bill that gives the pharmacy board more authority. The bill also creates a new oversight committee made up of the system’s users…

INSPECT collects data from pharmacies about prescriptions of narcotics, opioids and other addictive drugs and lets doctors, pharmacists and police get information from the database to track whether patients are obtaining more pills than they should.

The information in the system includes names, dates of birth, addresses, driver’s license numbers and details about prescriptions for controlled drugs — information that must be kept secure, Davisson said…

Unwarranted drug database search prompts new Utah law, lawsuits


Utah allows law enforcement unregulated access of any person’s private medical history in the database without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, according to the complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court.

“In reality, there is zero oversight of how the database is being used by law enforcement. As a result, law enforcement is able to circumvent a person’s privacy rights on a whim by searching for that person on the database,” the lawsuit says…

Jones’ ordeal began after Unified Fire Authority reported to police that vials of morphine, fentanyl and midazolam were taken from ambulances in southeast Salt Lake Valley. Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robbie Russo gave detective James Woods the names of 480 firefighters, including Jones’ name, to investigate regarding the missing medication. Russo got the list from Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, a Unified Fire Authority board member, according to the lawsuit.

Woods determined through the database that Jones was dependent on opiates and seeing three different doctors. The detective then interviewed the doctors and pharmacists about Jones’ medical conditions and treatment. The detective reported his findings to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, which charged Jones with 14 counts of obtaining a prescription under false pretenses, a third-degree felony.

Jones, 50, was being treated for a back injury suffered in an accident and two knee replacements, Ayres said. His doctors were aware of each other and didn’t think he was abusing prescription drugs, according the lawsuit. Ayres said Jones never sought medication that was not prescribed to him nor has he abused it any way.

Prosecutors also filed felony prescription fraud charges against paramedic Ryan Pyle as a result of the database search. Those charges were later dropped. Pyle, too, has a federal lawsuit pending against Cottonwood Heights. No one was charged with stealing narcotics from the ambulances after the investigation…

A month before Jones’ trial was to start in 3rd District Court in November 2014, prosecutors dismissed the charges against him…

The End

Hard to understand
Turning down a friendship
Years of nice gestures
But you’re still pretentious

So many similarities
Very few differences
And so I wonder
What’s with the fences?

Is it my language?
Lack of religion?
Something I said
or something I did?

What could be so bad
that you refuse to see
We all need friends
From A to Z

Just want you to know
It’s not very nice
I’m only human
No matter my vice

Pretending we’re friends
Only when you need
something that others
don’t want to cede

Well, I’m tired of giving
Even though I expect
nothing in return
I still need respect

Wasting time to question
I’ll never know
Doesn’t really matter
I’m letting go

As a nice person
I wish you well
Never to meet again
The End