A: It is common to trust your doctor.
However, over-prescription is serious and can affect individual patients and the community. From 2005 to 2009, nurses who ran the Payette Pain Clinic (including Kelly Bell, Penny Steers and Scott Pecora) in Vancouver prescribed opiates like Oxycontin and Methadone on much higher levels than the rest of the medical community, even other practitioners specializing in pain management. Numerous Payette Clinic patients died of lethal overdoses, while others were dangerously over medicated, falling asleep at the wheel or with lit cigarettes. Some patients sold their medication on the street to support their drug habit. Payette nurses eventually surrendered their licenses to prescribe narcotics after the DEA raided the clinic.
Payette patients’ problems didn’t end there. After Payette closed, hundreds of patients dependent on high dosages of narcotics dealt with extremely painful withdrawal symptoms like nausea, agitation, diarrhea, sweating, chills and inability to sleep. Some patients even started using Heroin, committed suicide, or robbed local pharmacies.
In 2009, our office agreed to represent the family of a young woman who died by ingesting Oxy that was prescribed to a Payette patient. Since then, pharmacists, doctors and other Payette patients have shared their stories of Payette Clinic tragedes with us. We currently represent ten clients linked to Payette. For more information on pill mills, read this article about a $10.7 million verdict awarded to the family of an overdose victim.
If you think your doctor is over-prescribing medication, get a second opinion.