Doctors’ fears of prescription abuse may lead to inadequate pain management

The number of patients who are under-treated for significant or chronic pain has reached crisis proportions, according to a pain management expert who attributes this problem to physicians’ inadequate training, personal biases concerning pain management and rising fears of prescription drug abuse.
“We have more sophisticated pain management techniques available now than ever before,” Kathryn Hahn, PharmD, of Oregon State University (OSU) College of Pharmacy, stated in an OSU press release. “But many doctors are not fully informed about all the options available, and also often turn patients away because they are very concerned about the problems with prescription drug abuse. Because of this, many people suffer needlessly with pain that could be treated, and almost 80% of visits to community pharmacies involve pain issues. We are in the middle of a storm here, and have to figure out some way to navigate through it.”

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