Pain Clinic Lobby Criticizes Palm Beach Post

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The Florida Society of Pain Management Providers, the largest pain-clinic-supported lobbying organization in the state, has harshly criticized two recent articles in the Palm Beach Post, claiming the paper printed erroneous statistics about pain clinics in Palm Beach County, even after being notified in writing.

Most of the organization's problems are with Monday's story by Michael LaForgia (who was named Best Palm Beach Post Writer by New Times two years ago).
The story, with the headline "Pain-clinic crackdown stalled," explains a number of recent delays in pain-clinic regulation, specifically: "In a special session on Nov. 16, lawmakers overrode a veto and revived a bill that effectively quashed state agencies' ability to make rules."

The Pain Society issued a statement yesterday saying the article "misleads" readers and "omitted key data that would have shown a noteworthy reduction in pain clinics."

Paul Sloan, president of the organization, said he supplied LaForgia with statistics and official sources for verification. "How Mr. LaForgia could simply ignore state records and data links that he acknowledged receipt of several days prior to publication and just let his article that misleads through substantial factual omissions go to press is in my opinion simply reprehensible," Sloan said in the release.

The organization also supplied some of the statistics it says the Post ignored:

"Palm Beach County has seen a 20% reduction in Pain Clinics over the last year. There are currently 110 pain clinics operating in Palm Beach County, not "at least 122" as reported; this is a reduction of 24 clinics from the high of 134 in 2010. Based on publicly available data it is estimated that approximately 60% of the 110 Palm Beach registered clinics are interventional procedure based pain clinics staffed with board certified and/or fellowship trained pain physicians."

In LaForgia's defense, it's possible that this material didn't make it into the story for the simple fact that there is no way to verify the actual number of pain clinics in any Florida county right now. We've tried. The numbers are simply too fluid -- too many open and close and reopen somewhere else. Even police and politicians don't know the numbers for sure.

The organization's most curious repudiation of the story was this bit, about how many people die as a result of prescription pills:

"The Post stated 'Drug users in Florida are dying of pill overdoses at a rate of seven per day.' Yet the former Director of the Governors Office on Drug Control stated, 'But don't be fooled. Pill mills are not the major source of prescription drug diversion and abuse. According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 70 percent of those who use prescription drugs non-medically get their drugs from friends and family.' Only 7% get the pills from a physician."

Of course, the Pain Society doesn't say there aren't at least seven people dying every day. And if its statistic that only 7 percent of people who use prescription drugs "non-medically" get the pills from a physician is true -- and there are reasons to suggest it isn't -- here are some reasons why that may be:

First, pill mills can supply a few people with enough drugs to resell to hundreds of others across the state or country. Second, many pill mills aren't run by doctors anyway; plenty are owned and operated by felons. Third, the term "non-medically" is vague and open to interpretation and could certainly imply that these prescription-drug users need the pills for a medical purpose ("self-medicating" perhaps), even if they abuse them and die as a result.

Either way, anyone who thinks that, as the lobby claims, "pill mills are not the major source of prescription drug diversion and abuse" needs to book a ticket on the OxyContin Express.


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16 comments
livingdeadgirl
livingdeadgirl

I'm a pain patient who doesn't have the option of surgery or injections to relieve my pain & now I suffer & so does my family, My kids & husband miss out on mom / wife due to the pain that is now un-treated. I've had 2 "pain doctors release me because they insist on injections that do not help my pain. They released me! Because I wont line their pockets with green for a treatment that does not work! there should be a law against that! How many nuero/brain surgeons opinions do they need? I am being treated worse than animals get treated in the U.S.A.

oxykills
oxykills

1) The stat about only 7% getting the pills from doctors is a national stat. That percentage is probably much higher in Florida (the country's top 50 oxycontin prescribing doctors are in Florida.) 2) even if you assume only 7% are getting the pills from doctors, it it this 7% that is supplying most of the pills to the rest of addicts. so it is irrelevant. 3) these pills are invariably addictive and should be used only in very few people without cancer. someone that takes 100-200 mg oxycontin a day, is definitely dependent on this drug forever. there is no getting off it and the dose only escalates. no wonder why they are willing to pay so much to these pill mills in cash. the Criminally indicted Purdue pharma marketed the drug in the late 90s to noncancer patients to increase profits, which is why this drug is now the number one addiction problem in the US - worse than heroin.

Mark Rosen
Mark Rosen

Of course, the Pain Society doesn't say there aren't at least seven people dying every day. Florida is estimated to have over 7,000 bare doctors

http://www.lubellrosen.com/

Passei
Passei

You left out this part of our Post criticism (see below), the Post actually criticized the Attorney General for hiring a special prosecutor for pain clinics and we support that.

In response to Ms. Swans January 7th Post editorial in which she stated that the appointment by Attorney General Pam Bondi of Senator Aronberg as the pain clinic special prosecutor was "a waste of money." It is the society's position that The Post's editorial standpoint is nonsensical and seems to be nothing but a strangely misguided attack on the Attorney General and Senator Aronberg especially in light of the fact that the Governors Office of Drug Control has been closed.

Now that the required tools are coming into place to regulate pain clinics the shift will be to investigations and prosecutions and who better to oversee that then the Attorney Generals office and who better to head the unit then Senator Aronberg, a former prosecutor with the AG's office.

Crusader
Crusader

The real question for Paul Sloan is how much money do you make as a legal drug dealer and how many people have to die as a result before it's no longer worth the cash?

Judge Sirica
Judge Sirica

the health reform legislation made it easier to crack down on the bogus clinics. The feds can now hold reimbursement to new clinics until it's clear they are legit. In the past, they had to enroll them, pay claims, and then suspend them after collecting evidence of fraud, usually long after they had closed and moved elsewhere, just ahead of the cops.

Passei
Passei

The Societies Executive Director is the Former Chief Prosecutor of Pain Clinics for the State of Florida and he and a retired DEA Sr investigator inspect members clinics for compliance with State, Federal and our own standards.

Paul

Passei
Passei

All pain clinic statistics were sourced directly from the Florida Department of Health on January 18th; the Department updates pain clinic registrations daily and are 100% accurate. Because you cannot understand the database does not mean the numbers are not factual and the "fluid" excuse is just an excuse for not making the effort to verify. The simple fact is that pain clinics registrations are not increasing.

It was the Director of the FL Governors Office on Drug Control who made the statement on the source of pain meds not us and it was based on a Federal DOH report.

Non Medical use is defined as those who use the medication but were not prescribed the medication. It is a standard term in the medical field.

Clinics not owned by physicians must be licensed by Florida AHCA which requires that all owners, physicians and staff go through FBI and FDLE criminal background checks and felons are not barred. It is Physician owned clinics that have no such restrictions. Check your facts.

Lastly we believe that Medication Diversion is the most significant problem and have supported the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) which has sat useless for two years as it was left unfunded by the legislators. We have even publicly advocated that the state charge clinic an annual fee to fund the system.

You may not like the truth (facts) but neither did Mr. Laforgia and in his case that is not acceptable.

Maybe you should give him another award for knowingly and blatantly avoiding the truth.

And for the commenter let it be know that I have been the only one in the State of Florida that attended every Board of Medicine pain clinic workshop and PDMP workshop and have submitted over 500 pages of clinic rules submissions; furthermore the clinics that I own have turned more patients over to law enforcement for prosecution then any other Clinic and DR in the state. We don't discharge We Prosecute!

Paul SloanPresidentFLSPMP.orgwww.FLPainNews.com

oxykills
oxykills

"The society of pain management providers" is pretty much a sham lobby group for pill mills. The pill mills have made too much money and they want to continue that. It is obvious why Sloan would be matking these claims. HE and his pill mill owners want to continue the party

Passei
Passei

The "cancer pain" story is pure nonsense made up by those like oxykills (above)

Both oxycodone (instant release) and oxycontin (time release oxycodone) are for MODERATE TO SEVERE PAIN per the US Food and Drug Administration.

See FDA offical outline below.....do you see only for cancer? FACTS ~v~ Fiction

OXYCONTIN®(OXYCODONE HCl CONTROLLED-RELEASE)TABLETS CII 10 mg 15 mg 20 mg 30 mg 40 mg 60 mg* 80 mg* 160 mg** 60 mg, 80 mg, and 160 mg for use in opioid-tolerant patients onlyINDICATIONS AND USAGEOxyContin Tablets are a controlled-release oral formulation of oxycodone hydrochloride indicated for the management of moderate to severe pain when a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period of time.

ROXICODONE®(OXYCODONE HYDROCHLORIDE)TABLETS USP, ORAL SOLUTION USP,AND LIQUID CONCENTRATEGeneric name: Oxycodone(Not to be confused with OXYCONTIN)INDICATIONSFor the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.

Passei
Passei

I always enjoy the comments that attack.

I am proud of what I do and how I do it. I have been proactive in this issue and will continue to be. As for those that think that pain meds should not be prescribed I think you are clueless and nothing more then zealots.

New Times prospered greatly with the advertising they allowed and I have always believed that they turned a blind eye for financial gain. I am being polite here when speaking about New Times complicity.

Passei
Passei

TYPO

FELONS are Barred from AHCA Clinics

Clinics not owned by physicians must be licensed by Florida AHCA which requires that all owners, physicians and staff go through FBI and FDLE criminal background checks and felons are not barred. It is Physician owned clinics that have no such restrictions. Check your facts.

NoxyMan
NoxyMan

Too bad the Post doesn't do as much business with these clinics as New Times does.

Mr. Sloan, you seem like quite the confident man (lobbyist), and I'm sure the clinics you personally own are on the up-and-up, but would you be willing to bet some money on whether there are still felons who own and operate pain clinics in Florida? I suspect you wouldn't, because it's a sucker's bet, because anyone who has been to enough of these places understands the game.

If 70 percent of pill abusers get their drugs from friends and family, and only 7 percent from a doctor, where do the other 23 percent get their pills?

And how about those seven people that die everyday because of pills that come from the very places your lobby is trying to protect? Even if it's not a doctor handing them the pills, they come from pill mills.

Finally, do you ever feel guilty? Sure, some people are probably able to get their medication faster, and that's swell, but what do you say to the parents of kids who've overdosed on the Oxy that came from clinics like yours? Do you use a bunch of initials and tell them that the database is always 100 percent accurate? Do you push for the men and women sending you money to go to jail for these deaths?

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