Millions of Americans in Pain Without Meds

Millions of Americans are showing up at pharmacies, in pain but without prescriptions, as physicians — fearful of drug abuse — hesitate to prescribe pain medications, according to two recent reports.
The issue is reaching “crisis proportions,” said Katherine Hahn, a pharmacist and chair of the Oregon Pain Management Commission, who argues that health consumers must be aware of the problem and become more informed, persistent advocates for the care they need.
“Many people suffer needlessly with pain that could be treated, and almost 80 percent of visits to community pharmacies involve pain issues,” said Hahn, lead author of the research articles. “We’re in the middle of a storm here, and have to figure out some way to navigate through it.”

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