By Barry Meier and Abby Goodnough | New York Times News Service
This report underscores the difficulties that the Obama administration and public health officials face in reducing the widespread use of painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet. The use and abuse of the drugs has led to a national epidemic of overdose deaths, addiction and poor patient outcomes.
In recent months, federal agencies and state health officials have urged doctors to first treat pain without using opioids, and some have announced plans to restrict how many pain pills a doctor can prescribe. But getting the millions of people with chronic pain to turn to alternative treatments is a daunting task, one that must overcome inconsistent insurance coverage as well as some resistance from patients and their doctors, who know the ease and effectiveness of pain medications.
“We are all culpable,” said Dr. David Deitz, a former insurance industry executive and a consultant on pain treatment issues. “I don’t care whether you are a doctor, an insurer or a patient.”
Clear here for full report