Fight pill scammers
Somewhere in Pennsylvania — maybe in your very own community — a pill-seeking doctor shopper is making plans to trick a health-care professional into writing a prescription that isn't needed for medical reasons. Since Pennsylvania has yet to give physicians access to a narcotic prescribing database, scammers have a leg up in our state.
Sadly, some of these scammers are actually addicts, who need help.
September is National Recovery Month and the Pennsylvania Medical Society encourages our communities to consider what can be done to help addicts recover while also combating local doctor shopping. Free resources are available through the society's website, www.pamedsoc.org. Health-care teams can learn more about the red flags of a pill scam and how to help an addict. In addition, with help from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, information is also posted for addicts and their family members.
Finally, communities can also contact their elected leaders this fall and demand that physicians be given access to a database that will help them know if the person sitting in their exam room is a scammer or actually a patient with legitimate pain.
Bruce A. MacLeod
The writer, a physician who practices emergency medicine in Pittsburgh, is president-elect of the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Medical Society.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.