Efforts to curb growing rates of prescription painkiller abuse–along withhealthcare fraud and wasteful spending riding on their coattails–have made it harder for patients with chronic pain to get the medicines they need.
There are 100 million of these patients nationwide, according to JD Supra Business Advisor. They use narcotic pain medication prescribed by doctors to cope with illnesses including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
“We don’t sell [pain medications], we don’t snort them, we don’t steal them,” a patient wrote in a support group blog post. “But … we are made to pay the price [for] what the sleazy underworld has done.”