Some years ago a doctor in Washington state lobbied the legislature to get a bill passed that led to a serious problem for patients in need of pain medication.
The bill was aimed at an effort to prevent people seeking drugs from doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions for popular pain meds, and reduce illegal drug sales.
Not only would the patient be prosecuted under this law, the doctor would be as well.
The outcome was that doctors became fearful of losing their license for properly prescribing pain medication that would be effective for the needs of their patients.
Many patients suffered needlessly in the long run.
So now a decade or so later, patients are saying the same thing.
What is the question that needs to be asked in this situation?
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Pain is one of the most common symptoms of cancer patients, yet many of them do not receive adequate therapy for it, U.S. researchers said.
Pain can come from the cancer itself, chronic inflammatory changes or infections or treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., said between November 2005 and April 2006, 106 radiation therapy patients responded to an Internet-based questionnaire that evaluated their medication use, pain control and attitudes toward pain medication, including prescription and over-the-counter pain medications.
Fifty-eight percent reported pain from their cancer treatment and 46 percent of patients reported pain directly from their cancer, yet 80 percent of those patients said they did not use medication to manage their pain.
The main reason for not taking pain medication was because their healthcare provider did not recommend it, followed by a fear of addiction or dependence and the inability to pay, researchers said.
"To eliminate barriers to optimal pain management for cancer patients, healthcare providers should talk with their patients about pain symptoms and pain medications," lead author Dr. Charles Simone of NCI said in a statement.
The finding is published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.
UPI:Sept. 10, 2008