http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/alabama_doctors_busted_in_fede.html

Birmingham diabetes doctor Peter Alan Lodewick wrote a number of prescriptions for pain killers in the past two years.

He wrote them for his housekeeper, Margaret, her son Willie, Willie’s daughter Raven, Willie’s girlfriend Susie, and four other people, according to his plea agreement.

Specifically, Lodewick wrote prescriptions for the powerful opiates oxycodone, morphine sulfate, norcos, and the narcotic stimulant adderall, his plea agreement states. He wrote about 390 prescriptions for about 22,796 pills from January 2013 to December 2014…

Alabama has seen a rising problem with opiate addiction and painkiller prescription rates that are the highest in the nation. With 400 pain clinics and a lucrative black market, Lodewick is hardly alone…

Population of Alabama in 2014:  4.849 million.  That’s 12,000 people per pain clinic.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the New York-based president of Physicians for Responsible Opiod Prescribing, said that most doctors who overprescribe opiates are responsible practitioners, albeit naïve to the often ruinous and overpowering effects of chemical addiction. But he called the others, who knowingly and freely dispense the pills, “the Dr. Feelgoods.”

“They’re doing it because there’s a really good model there,” Kolodny said. “They have patients who never miss an opportunity. They have patients who will pay whatever price and will pay cash.  “Except for the fact you have a high rate of overdose death in patient population, it works out well for them.”

It’s funny how the media never fact-checks what Mr. Kolodny has to say.  A high rate of overdose deaths in which patient population?  Chronic pain patients?  Those who suffer from addiction?  Because there’s not a “high” rate of overdose deaths in either population.

Robert Thomas Jenkins, now serving time in Elmore Correctional Facility, filed a federal lawsuit last June alleging that Lodewick prescribed him pain pills that made him “severely ill and physically dependent on these drugs.” …

The lawsuit states that Lodewick continued to write prescriptions for Jenkins during monthly visits to Lodewick’s private office on Montevallo Road for about a year. Jenkins argues that Lodewick never examined him. Jenkins asserts that he paid Lodewick in cash on three to four occasions.

But in an interview with AL.com, Lawler dismissed the allegations as the “biggest crock of (crap) he had ever heard.”

Lawler, whose family owns Lawler Manufacturing in Lincoln, said that he was a former patient and friend of Lodewick. He recalled getting lunch with the recently arraigned doctor once a week at Ruby Tuesday.

At the time, Lawler said that Lodewick wrote him prescriptions for pain killers he takes as a result of more than 20 surgeries he has had related to Crohn’s disease and a childhood lawn mower accident that left him with a partially amputated right foot…

Kolodny credits the explosion in prescriptions to a philosophical change in the 1990s that coincided with the launch of OxyContin, an extended release form of the painkiller oxycodone. Doctors began to prescribe painkillers to treat patients with intractable pain, rather than reserving the powerful drug for patients with late-stage terminal illnesses, he said…

It’s hard not to hope that one day, Kolodny will suffer from an intractable pain condition.  I’m sure he’ll change his tune when he’s the one suffering.  And if only terminal patients are allowed pain medications, then this country is going to have millions of people filing for disability.  Of course, we’ll also have to cut back on surgeries — any kind of surgery.

It’s too bad that no one in the medical industry will stand up to Kolodny.  It’s shameful that no one in the medical industry is on the side of patients.  I don’t think doctors really understand the wide gulf opening up between doctors and patients, and how the war against pain patients will ultimately affect every doctor.

Because, guess what, doctors?  We don’t fucking need you anymore.  We’ve got all the medical information we need at the touch of our fingertips.  All you’re doing is pushing patients into the underground drug market, which will continue to grow and grow, while your businesses stagnate then decline.  There’s going to be a revolution, and no, it won’t be televised.  Nobody trusts the media anymore, or big pharma, and doctors will be next.

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