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Dispensing docs to Hippocrates: Drop Dead.

That’s the only conclusion one can reach after reading WCRI’s latest report, The Impact of Banning Physician Dispensing of Opioids in Florida.

Here’s why.

As of July 1, 2011, Florida’s docs could no longer dispense most opioids from their offices.  Before that date, 5.7% of the scripts dispensed by docs were opioids that fell under the ban.

After?  0.6%, and almost all of those were dispensed by docs outside of FL for FL claimants.

Well, we’d expect the volume of pharmacy-dispensed opioids to go up dramatically, wouldn’t we?  After all, no physician would ever prescribe opioids to a patient who absolutely didn’t need them, right?


The volume of pharmacy-dispensed opioids declined.  Went down.  Decreased.

In fact, 3.5% of patients were receiving the stronger opioids from docs before the ban, only 0.5% after (again these were mostly from cross-border trips by FL claimants to out-of-state dispensing physicians).  And the percentage of claimants getting stronger opioids from pharmacies went up by a mere one-tenth of one percent.


Dispensing docs were prescribing and dispensing strong opioids to many patients who DID NOT NEED THEM.  Why?  For the money.

Opioids are incredibly dangerous.  Opioids kill people.  Destroy families.  Ruin lives.  Addict children.  An intelligent, articulate, promising young woman I know is now a prostitute, selling herself to strangers because she became addicted to prescription drugs.  Her family is devastated, her dreams reduced to the next high.

And these money-grubbing bastards allow this to happen, just to make money to buy nicer cars, better wines, fancier dinners.  

What does this mean for you?


7 thoughts on “Dispensing docs to Hippocrates: Drop Dead.”

  1. Nobody cares about this, or other issues because we are becoming a “Ferengi Society”, one in which the pursuit of profit at any cost is the acceptable way to run a society, not to have government interfere with the “free market” and the making of money. No wonder the GOP ran Thurston Howell III last year for President, and the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch get to pour billions of money into the media to get their way with us.

  2. Richard – if you think the public should be up in arms over an issue that truly affects a small portion of society is ridiculous. I personally know w/c dispensing inside and out. I would say it is a shady world but politicians drafting these laws are the real issue. We as a society and the medical community have larger issues to addres than dispensing. This is a short term problem that won’t last 5 more years at it’s current level of exaggerated profits.

    What about the growing population of physicians moving to hospital systems? The individual practioners are being pushed out of our society by regulation. I don’t think docs working for a pay check on a time card necessarily provide the best care,

    1. Don
      Several things. First please be kinder in your comments about other commenters.
      Second I’d suggest docs prescribing drugs just to make money is more worthy of the public’s attention than kanye’s baby’s name. The fact that it isn’t is troubling.
      Third the only thing that will stop physician dispensing is public outrage; those outlandish profits you rightly cite are NOT going to affect change unless people do something.
      Fourth your concern about docs as employees somehow delivering worse outcomes than those working in a ffs world has been refuted by multiple studies involving the VA, Kaiser, group health coop, and many many more.

  3. Given the statistical findings of dramatically reduced opioid prescriptions post ban, you’re conclusion that it was profit driven and not care driven cannot be disputed. The Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm” seems to have been practiced by these physicians only when their profit motive was taken away. Again you’re conclusion that the pre ban prescriptions were not needed is again spot on. Given the documented “harm” that opioid use entails, my question is; where is the AMA in all of this?

  4. We will be pushing for restrictions, in some manner, on physician dispensing in Maryland during the next legislative session. I would appreciate any assistance from interested parties or employers that do business in this State. Jack

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



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