I’ve written about the spectrum of medical and scientific opinion (not, unfortunately, always the same thing) over the use of opioids for treatment of chronic pain. For those who missed the earlier discussion– one that produced a heated response from readers– I invite you to review those posts.
The essence of the issue is that over many years, there has been significant effort to increase patient access to potent opioids. This effort has come in part from the pharmaceutical industry, but also from organizations that advocate for patients with a wide range of painful conditions, some with connections to pharma, and some without connections to pharma.
There has even been a push to increase opioid prescribing from Federal agencies. Back in the 1990’s, when I chaired my local hospital’s Department of Anesthesia, we were warned by agencies hired by the hospital that the Joint Commision on Accreditation was focusing on pain control one particular year, and that some hospitals had been cited for insufficient prescribing of pain medications.