Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Opioid overprescribing: we have met the enemy, and he is us

My last Medscape video commentary of 2015 discusses the draft Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for primary care clinicians who prescribe opioids for patients with chronic non-cancer pain. Twice as many people died from overdoses of prescription opioids than from heroin overdoses in 2014, and although some have wanted to blame the problem on a small number of high-volume prescribers operating "pill mills," family physicians - myself included - bear some responsibility for overprescribing these medications and must be part of the solution.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Laurie Scudder and her team at Medscape Family Medicine for inviting me to tape these monthly physician-oriented pieces, giving me complete freedom to choose the topics, and for adhering to the highest standard of professionalism throughout the process.

Here is a complete list of my commentaries this year:

1. Lung Cancer: To Screen or Not to Screen (1/16/15)

2. Transforming Primary Care One House Call at a Time (3/31/15)

3. Can Patients Understand the Concept of Overdiagnosis? (4/7/15)

4. Screening Mammography Guidelines: The Change Clinicians Should Know (5/29/15)

5. Conflicts of Interest and Guidelines: Is Bias A Worry? (7/27/15)

6. Primary Care Training: Follow the Money (8/7/15)

7. "Death Panels": Moving Beyond the Rhetoric (9/10/15)

8. Breast Cancer Screening: The Evidence Is Piling Up (10/26/15)

9. Putting SPRINT in Focus for Primary Care (11/16/15)

10. Opioid Abuse: A Primary Care-Created Problem? (12/22/15)