Painkiller for primary care givers

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Primary care physicians are justifiably concerned about prescribing--and perhaps overprescribing--pain medication for their patients. According to AMed News, "Many physicians fear law enforcement action over perceived overprescribing and are concerned that underprescribing could result in civil litigation. Some of them feel the safest thing to do is to refer patients who need continuing pain treatment to someone else." Among the solutions is, of course, " more pain education for physicians, regulators and law enforcement officials."

While it's not a panacea for all the symptoms of their dis-ease, education can help these docs counter patients' misinformation, and protect themselves to boot. Another snippet:

    The AMA is doing its part to educate physicians. Last year, with the help of a $900,000 grant from Purdue Pharma, it released a four-part pain-management series that received some 97,000 initial orders from physicians, said AMA Director of Healthcare Education Products R. Mark Evans, PhD. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ordered 800 copies to train staff, he said.

    The program was modified last December into an online continuing medical education series (www.ama-cmeonline.com) that receives about 5,000 visitors a month.

    Dr. Evans said some 8,000 CME certificates had been awarded, with primary care physicians being the largest group filing for credit (28%).

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