Opinion

Doctor shopping a loophole that must be closed

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy has revealed that 176 patients in the state are suspected of “doctor shopping” to the tune of obtaining prescriptions from at least 13 separate doctors each over the past year.

The practice is aimed at duping doctors into prescribing far more pharmaceutical drugs — usually painkillers or powerful sedatives — than the patient needs, at least for any medical reasons.

The excess drugs are either abused by the patient at dosage levels far above what is normally prescribed, or they are sold on the street for a profit.

What was striking about the story in The Charleston Gazette was the fact that there is a mechanism in place to prevent this practice, but not all medical professionals are using it correctly.

All medical professionals who write prescriptions must register with the Controlled Substance Monitoring Program database.

Problem is, many who are writing prescriptions aren’t following through with the system…

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