Narcotics and Appropriate Pain Management
The first one describes a review article on noncancer pain management suggesting the broader use of narcotics (opiods) in this setting. Most primary care providers have become increasingly comfortable using such drugs for many chronic pain conditions (back pain, arthritis, chronic pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, and many others). For them, this article is probably old news.
The second story was also reported by Medscape. It is about a survey of members of state medical boards indicating that state and federal regulators may be increasing the number of prosecutions for prescribing these same drugs.
Great. As the appropriate indications for narcotics are expanding, more doctors may be going to jail for offering such progressive care. Given the modern recognition of pain as the "fifth vital sign" not to mention the increasing medical liability assumed by not controlling it, prosecuting more doctors doesn't seem the way to go.
Medical boards and regulators need to catch up with medical science.