Doctor-Patient Painkiller Contracts Gain Popularity

A growing number of physicians are asking patients who take painkillers to sign a contract to discourage them from abusing the medications. The contracts are designed to prevent patients from taking too much medication, mixing drugs, selling or sharing them. The Washington Post reports that some of the contracts may require patients to have blood or urine drug tests, fill their prescriptions at only one pharmacy or refuse to accept pain medication from other physicians. Often patients who break the agreement are dropped from the doctor’s practice.

Proponents of the contracts say they can be a good educational tool and treatment roadmap. But some critics of the contracts, called “pain contracts” or “opioid treatment agreements,” say they invade patients’ privacy and are damaging to the trust between doctors and patients.

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    Charlita M.

    October 31, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    I’ve just wasted 2 hours trying to get a refill for a prescription I’ve had for over 3 years. I called in the refill 4 days ago, but no one ever bothered to call and say “YOUR Dr. isn’t in the office but will be here Friday” — “oh and you should come in and fill out this drug contract and drop us a urine, and THEN when your Dr. IS back, your results will be back too and we’ll be able to write your refill then.”
    I asked if the prescription could be left at the desk so when I CAME in to meet their demands I wouldn’t have to wait around for it, and got a yes. So when I arrived and had to wait, I started getting aggravated (nevermind I actually already was). Then it was about go back and give the specimin, then I got to wait for the Dr. since we had to “discuss” the form (as though I couldn’t read or had no comprehension), and she had to sign it too. They put me in a room and I waited and realized they had another hold over me now I was in the holding area – so I opened the door to watch the hall. And sure enough, she went somewhere else first. Long story long (right?) after I finally was seen, signed explained why I’M angry and just want my meds and I get the “I understand”, I find out that I’m not even going to GET a refill written today – as it takes 3 days for the labs and apparently it has to CLEAR before it can be written. So after this my next stop is urgent care since I NEED my meds and it’s FRIDAY and what do they think someone’s supposed to do?
    My doc says “I think we talked about this at the last visit.”
    “No — if we HAD talked about this at the last visit, I would have taken care of it THEN and wouldn’t have had to be inconvenienced and made uncomfortable by being without my meds.” (wtf?)
    I don’t think this is a real solution to the prescription medication problem, but as someone mentioned previously – merely a way to punish and break the trust of people who sorely need their medications.

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    Cheryl

    February 9, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    How bout drs. that wont consider you had to have emergecny surgery. In my case had a completely absessed tooth the Dentist said my gum was black with rot. He prescribed anti biotic and pain killers and I have taken more of mine fighting the toothache and not my back. The Dr only replaced what i had used up for the tooth and for this I now am dropped? Not to mention Dr don’t tell you when they pass out Hydrocodoone long term that it rots your teeth out and to be prepared for lots of dentist visits in the future!!!

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    Carl Munford

    April 3, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    I my opinion, the so called “Drug Contracts” that Patients need for pain is one of most damaging pieces of paper ever conceived. These contracts insult the integrity of many good law abiding citizens whose only crime is to have suffered a condition which puts them into the position of being in need of pain relief for better quality of life. Furthermore, the forced signing of pain contracts compromises the trust between Doctor and Patient. I have seen many of these contracts and they leave no quarter. If you loose your Medication or have the Flu, you can not take the Pain Medication. Infact, there are too many legitimate reasons to mention why a random drug screen would come up negative. Unfortunately, these reasons will get you dropped from a Doctors care. As a Retired Combat Veteran, I made it a point to read the “United States Constitution and Bill of Rights”. Although there is nothing in the Constitution which says Doctors can single out specific Patients for scrutiny however, it does say that the Fundamental Rights of its Citizens can not be violated without due process. Furthermore, President Clinton’s “Patient Bill of Rights” that he signed into Law, strictly prohibits this type of invasion of our rights as Patients. “Lets not forget the “Physician’s Code of Ethics” which among other things, states that a Doctor shall do all humanly possible to ease their Patients suffering. This witch hunt is hunting the wrong witches and needs to be stooped. If the Medical Community wants to make a impact on Drug abuse, lets go after the Legal to abuse Drug, Alcohol, which kills more Americans than all the Narcotic Drugs, legal and illegal” combined.

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    claire

    May 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    Hi- That just seems like a no brainer! No one seems to have any common sense. Let me pick up my jaw here, just a sec…..I would sign a waiver in a second(PTSD,COPD,depression)if I could get more help in form or Rx. My guts eat me up everyday. Unbarable.There’s no long term w/ this.

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    jgogek

    April 5, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Interesting idea, but it should be scientifically evaluated to see if it works. Might just sound good.

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