restrictions are strangling supplies of pain medications in rural communities and are causing misguided investigations of some pain management doctors.
Self-imposed restrictions on opioid-based pain medications by drug wholesalers limit the supply chain from the top down, according to Santa Maria, Calif., pharmacist K. Scott Guess. In many cases, legitimate chronic pain patients feel the pinch.
Because of increasing pressure from the DEA and lawmakers, “pharmacy suppliers are severely restricting the available quantities of opioids that are most-commonly prescribed,”
“[T]he authorities have come perilously close to throwing the pain management baby out with the drug abuse bathwater.”
the nation’s largest wholesalers have become “de facto deputies” in the war on pain medication diversion and abuse.
HELP ON THE WAY?
U.S. Reps. Tom Marino, R-Penn., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., are among 12 co-sponsors of legislation, HR 4069, aimed at ensuring patient access to medications while supporting effective drug enforcement.
As part of the settlement, the license of a Florida facility used by Walgreen to distribute controlled drugs was revoked for two years, according to reports in The New York Times.
the restrictions Walgreen and most other large wholesalers have felt pressure to initiate don’t apply well across the board. “One size doesn’t fit all,” Black said. “We’re very concerned about legitimate patients with legitimate needs.”