9,500 patients left without a pain doctor thanks to the DEA

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=15224

The three doctors saw more than 200 of Dr. Eugene Gosy’s patients on their first day of filling in. The patients came in walkers and wheelchairs, some connected to oxygen tanks and others to pain pumps…

Milch and two other doctors – Nancy Nielsen and Christopher Kerr – did not know what to expect on May 16, the day they stepped in as temporary fill-ins for Gosy. Federal prosecutors three weeks earlier accused Gosy of operating a criminal conspiracy, issuing more than 300,000 illegal prescriptions over four years.

When his office closed, 9,500 patients were left without their pain doctor, and many were dependent on or addicted to narcotic painkillers. They were panicked over the prospect of withdrawal and who would treat them. The fill-in doctors’ encounters with Gosy’s patients have led them to question their preconceptions.

“I thought I was going to see 35-year-old guys on workers’ comp who didn’t want to go back to work,” Nielsen said. “That is not what I have seen.” …

Three weeks since they arrived, the three fill-in doctors are impressed with Gosy’s practice and the safeguards he put in place to spot drug seekers…

Gosy was the repository for all the cases doctors in the community didn’t want. The patients are legitimate and have nowhere else to go. Given the shortage of addiction treatment services, they can’t just be told to get off the drugs.

“These patients are really refugees in the medical system, unable to find a home,” said Nielsen, who played a key role in arranging the short-term fill-ins to keep open Gosy’s practice.

“The patients had no warning, had no ability to find alternative arrangements,” she said…

“A contradiction exists between the way these patients have been characterized and how they actually appear,” Kerr said. “What is most impressive is that we have yet to see a case that is not striking in its authenticity.” …

But any expectation that other doctors could or would take on Gosy’s patients turned out to be unrealistic. The remaining pain-management specialists in the region are saturated with patients. Primary-care physicians, usually the first stop for common medical problems, are increasingly reluctant to prescribe opioids.

Chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Experts say more training is needed. And the prosecution of physicians has had a chilling effect. That’s why more than 2,000 physicians in the Buffalo area referred chronic pain cases to Gosy & Associates, according to his attorney, Joel Daniels…

But obstacles stood in the way. BlueCross BlueShield removed Gosy & Associates from its participating network after the office closed without a contingency plan for the health insurer’s members…

To Kerr, the unfolding events underscored a deeper problem. Doctors don’t want to treat chronic pain, he said. From his own experience, he noted that half of the calls to hospice result from physicians’ unwillingness to write opioid painkiller prescriptions for patients at the end of life or suffering from terminal illnesses.

“There is no consequence for not treating pain,” Kerr said. “And, there’s no equivalent in medicine. You can’t say you won’t treat hypertension or diabetes.”

The doctors remain worried about what will happen after the relief effort at Gosy’s office ends later this summer…

“Having no plan is a true public health crisis, as patients will end up in the hospital, on the street buying heroin, or dead,” she wrote.

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6 thoughts on “9,500 patients left without a pain doctor thanks to the DEA

  1. Have your heard this? When I was in Florida, there was an outrage when Walgreens stopped filling prescriptions for pain meds. I had dental surgery and my dentist prescribed Vicodin. I told him I wouldn’t fill it but he said records were kept and I had to fill it. I took the scrip to Walgreens and not only did they refuse to fill it…they turned me over to the DEA as a possible drug dealer.
    Walmart was the only place I could get it filled.
    There are indeed many, many drug-seekers out there but for every one of them, there is somebody who is in chronic pain. By “pretending” to curb the drug-seekers, we are punishing the people who are truly in need. Yay us!

    Liked by 1 person

      • No, I wasn’t interviewed. Given my history with any drugstore, I think it would be evident that I wasn’t a dealer. I don’t even take pain meds…but I guess with all that’s happening, records of doctors who prescribe them are kept….that’s why my dentist told me I had to get it filled. I got it filled and then took it right back up to the pharmacy the next day and asked them to dispose of them properly. (They probably just re-sold them.) LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really have no fucking words about this…all I know is that dad and I are fucking fed up….
    I did read somewhere that pain dr are onlly allowed to have so many patients on pain medications and this is for pain specialist as well..wtf you go to the pain dr cuzz you muther fucking hurt like a fucking son of a bitch….I believe this is in one state for now..or it could be another reason the brick walls everyone is having..when it’s documented files after files of test of medical records and always pass a urine test always take it like it reads or even less at times..SO sick of shitttt……they want them to go to the streets so they can arrest them and put them in prison so the higher ups get more money..they don’t care about us at all..or we get on harder street drugs….fuck them all in the ear…these poor people and to go thru withdraw omg that can and does kill people I know it almost did me one time..but the dr didn’t care….ok end rant…maybe..
    Hugggggggs
    Suzz

    Liked by 1 person

    • “pain dr are only allowed to have so many patients on pain medications and this is for pain specialist as well”

      I haven’t read that, but I’m not surprised. It’s like addiction doctors who prescribe methadone and bupe. They have a limit on the number of patients they’re allowed to have. Just like pharmacies have a limit on the amount of drugs they’re allowed to sell, especially painkillers.

      I’m thinking about my Honeysuckle Haven, a welcoming place for all pain patients. If we build it on Indian land, we might be able to create a zone where there is no drug war. Alternatively, we can create a religion, with tax breaks and everything. If people are allowed to worship a god, why can’t we worship drugs? Something to think about. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had no idea about that they could only see so many people and give out so much medications..thank you for that information gurl…….
        yup I still think your on to something gurl..sounds like an amazing place to go and live for sure..I love your brain lol..Imma with you gurl… : )

        Liked by 1 person

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