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Doctors share blame for pain pill abuse

Hydrocodone pills arranged for a photo at a

Hydrocodone pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Credit: AP / Toby Talbot

The op-ed advocating “sue them all” misses an important point [“Time for a war against Big Pharma,” July 10].

It’s the job of pharmaceutical companies to manufacture medication. At this point, every doctor is aware of the dangers.

When I injured my back many years ago, my doctor gave me a prescription for 100 hydrocodone pills. It was supposed to be a month’s supply, but I only took one a day and I never finished it. That sort of overprescribing is not the fault of the manufacturer but of the doctor.

Additionally, patients are counseled not to exceed the dosage listed. Do they listen? How does suing the manufacturer of the medication solve these problems?

It’s the job of government to pass laws that limit the number of pills that can be dispensed at one time, and the job of doctors to monitor their patients’ usage. Yes, some people fool the system by going to various doctors. But if pharmacy records are linked, as is the case with New York’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP), the pharmacy can’t dispense more than the legal limited number of pills.

I don’t see what suing Big Pharma accomplishes.

Adrienne Brownstein, Beechhurst

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