Blue stethoscope medical equipment close-up

Overzealous use of the CDC’s opioid prescribing guideline is harming pain patients

During the recent Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association, the organization’s president, Dr. Barbara McAneny, told the story of a patient of hers whose pharmacist refused to fill his prescription for an opioid medication. She had prescribed the medication to ease her patient’s severe pain from prostate cancer, which had spread to his bones. Feeling ashamed after the pharmacist called him a “drug seeker,” he went home, hoping to endure his pain. Three days later, he tried to kill himself. Fortunately, McAneny’s patient was discovered by family members and survived.

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By KATE M. NICHOLSON, DIANE E. HOFFMAN, and CHAD D. KOLLAS

DECEMBER 6, 2018