Is the U.S. Crackdown on Pain Doctors Going Too Far?

As the Justice Department continues to target doctors who operate “pill mills” and write questionable opioid prescriptions, some professionals who specialize in treating chronic pain say they’ve become caught in the crossfire, and they now fear being arrested and prosecuted simply for properly treating their patients.

Dr. Daniel Carr

Dr. Daniel Carr

The government has been cracking down hard on doctors and clinics that overprescribe opioids. But a number of doctors claim the authorities have gone overboard, and are no longer simply focusing on providers who take cash in return for writing unnecessary prescriptions, but are trying to criminalize any deviation from standard care practices – even though such deviations may occasionally be necessary in treating chronic pain sufferers.

The president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Daniel Carr, says there’s now a “civil war” over pain management practices. Dr. Sean Mackey, of Stanford University’s pain management program, compares the government’s approach to “McCarthyism” and says it’s using the fear of arrest to silence doctors who are simply practicing medicine.

Some doctors also claim the government is specifically targeting doctors who belong to minority groups, or whose practice primarily treats minorities and poor people.

Source: Dallas Observer. Click here for more information.