To the editor:
Congressman Vern Buchanan's proposed law is best described as "piling on" in the ongoing pain medicine witch hunt.
This issue is one of statistics that have little support in fact or science; it is nothing more than politicians playing to the media. The most glaring example of false statistics is the often stated Rx overdose rate that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has no uniform standard for determination from one medical examiner's office to the next. The 2011 CDC statement regarding the issue: "The net result of these problems has been a wide variability in case definitions and practices used in autopsy and toxicologic evaluations . Such variability has made it more difficult for public health agencies to make accurate comparisons of the rates of overdose in different jurisdictions."
This is a false "epidemic" and just an unchecked expansion of a failed 40-year war on drugs, a war that has only enriched the warriors' budgets and filled our jails to capacity. The congressman's bill is another step in intimidating physicians from prescribing needed medications that hundreds of thousands of citizens need to maintain a quality of life.
My advice to those that have pain medications in their homes is to keep them safe, as the day is near when you will find no physician willing to prescribe. As Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, "Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind then even death itself."
Editor's note: Sloan is administrator of First Choice Pain Care