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Study shows doctor's offices can help stem abuse of Oxycontin, other narcotic painkillers
Date:4/10/2008

ly as other opioid registry patients to violate the clinic policy in some way.

Many of us in the clinic were surprised at what we found, because a doctors job is first and foremost to trust the patient as they tell us about their pain, says study author Jennifer Meddings, M.D., who implemented the policy in collaboration with pharmacist Stuart Beatty, Pharm.D., and internal medicine residency program director Catherine Lucey, M.D. Meddings, now a clinical lecturer in the Division of General Medicine at U-M Medical School, continues, But in order to confront this issue, and protect our ability to prescribe these drugs to the patients who truly need them, we need to have a uniform approach for all patients.

Meddings is now working with her U-M colleagues to improve implementation of a similar program in the Taubman General Medicine clinic of the U-M Health System, with hopes of having it spread to other U-M clinics as it did at OSU. She also hopes to study the effectiveness of such a policy more fully and prospectively.

She led the design and implementation of the policy while she was chief resident of internal medicine at OSU, treating patients at a busy resident-staffed, faculty-supervised clinic. In such a clinic, where a patient is not likely to see the same doctor at every visit, the risk of prescription opioid misuse may be higher.

In fact, the police had alerted the clinic about several patients who had sold narcotic drugs prescribed by residents, or who had tried to fill a single prescription at multiple pharmacies. Under some circumstances, such violations of the law can come back to haunt the prescribing physician and his or her entire clinic including the loss of the license to prescribe those medicines to any patient.

At the same time, the experience of managing so many opioid-using patients, and deciding whether to trust them, was turning younger resident physicians away from pursuing a career in prima
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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