Veteran Deaths Linked to VA Opiate Prescription Scandal

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VA Opiate Overdoses

In a usual case of CYA, VA was caught shredding documents that could have been used to charge its medical doctors with medical malpractice.

Prescriptions of opiates to veterans have more than doubled in the past 10 years. The increase far outpaced the increase in patient numbers, lending credibility to the claim that VA doctors are abusing their authority.

Generally, a doctor should meet with a patient before prescription highly addictive drugs. This should potentially include follow up appointments to ensure the drugs are being taken appropriately.

According to the Center for Investigative Reporting,  VA Medical Center doctors in San Francisco have been regularly renewing addictive narcotic prescriptions for veterans they have never seen.

A recent VA OIG investigation revealed that doctors had never seen 53 percent of the veterans involved in the cases evaluated where opiate prescriptions were renewed.

In addition, OIG auditors found VA staff had shredded documents that it was using to track whether or not veterans were abusing the opiates.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been unimpressive in their ability to protect veterans from these systemic abuses.

Source: U-T San Diego

VA doctors renewed prescriptions without seeing patients

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6 Comments

  1. I understand the abuse that can happen and that is clearly wrong. But my own personal doctor who has done my pain management for years, because the last guy had me on methadone and opiate drugs, and I had been through a slew of pain management which each had their own magical way, I find it outrageous that these guys don’t goto a school for this, nope, they are ananesthesia guys. Now, I admit, I would be prescribed the max I could take, but rarely did. And not thinking to ask my pharmacist how much I had left, Iwas shocked. But now when I need them most after a car accident, he states he can’t write them for me? I take on average 4 a day. But since the car accident, I’ve gotten progressively worse, as in if I have to walk too far, I become drenched by my own sweat. I feel cut in half, and my tailbone hurts like hell. This has limited my life, but surprised by shredding documents? Not in the least! Knowing the military sanitize records, and told to request mine. I got my entrance, my shot records, and my exit, which clearly states back pain from injury January 1981, recommended DVA. Well, I lived with it, I had three children, an abusive first husband, so my mind wasn’t allowed to worry about my back and my constant pain, but my youngest at the age of 12-16 had to watch his mother live in a bed in horrible pain after a failed fusion. One more surgery, longer stay due to morphine reaction and alovely ng tube down the nose. My fear? No insurance, in Perry land who denies medical care, and much more, but uncover his secrets, amazing how he lies. I have Fibromyalgia and arthritis in my spine. Scared about more damage and surgery? Yes. Hopefully, I don’t run into the same woman at the VA who screamed you have to pay over and over again. Yes, Dallas VA need to take people like her and stick them in a broom closet or just fire them period! No Veteran should be denied, that was Lincoln’s promise, obviously he needs to come back from his slumber and see how the VA is working now!

  2. Surprised, that the VA is again shredding records? Shredding incriminating documents is SOP for VA. The beat me to my 8 years of Army medical records and destroyed everything but my entrance exam at induction. Shredding documents is just another way of lying, and lying is systemic in the VA. I believe the ROOT of the VA lying problem is that VA is NOT put under oath when they testify before HVAC at the House of Representatives. Congress has a gentleman’s agreement with VA to allow them to testify WITHOUT an oath. This allows VA to lie to Congress without consequences. No oath, no crime is committed when lying to Congress. This sets the tone for the entire VA. See this link—-> https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-the-va-from-lying.fb40?source=c.fb.ty&r_by=6372108

  3. And those of us that actually NEED narcotic pain management are SCREWED/stigmatized due to crap like this.

    • EXACTLY! THOSE OF US WHO ACT IN A,RESPONSIBLE MANNER WITH MEDICATIONS END UP LIVING A,LIFE OF PURE PAIN AND HELL! AND ME? I HAVE NEVER EVER FELT DROWSY, BUT MORE ALERT, SO I ASKED MY PHARMACIST WHY IS IT THAT I FEEL ALERT? HE STATED, YOU’RE. PART OF THE 2% OF THE POPULATION THAT WILL HAVE THAT SIDE AFFECT, BECAUSE NOT ALL ARE LISTED JUST THE COMMON ONES!

      • The VA had me on Oxycodone for a long time. The problem I had was because of the DEA…. the DR. has to be asked for the medication every month. The way it works is….you call and talk to a nurse….make a request. She sends the request to the doctor. He is REQUIRED to write a hard copy prescription , send it to the pharmacy…..then they mail it out. When the system works it’s great. But three times I went through withdrawals because the meds didn’t come. They claim they never got the request. “It’s not in the computer”
        So I weaned my self off and deal with the pain other ways.

  4. How long will it take, how many more revelations will it take, how many more deaths as a result of Negligence/malpractice will it take for society to realize the VA is out of control and is a NATIONAL DISGRACE ?? I have been a disabled veteran since 1968 and it just gets worse as the days go by. Wake up AMERICA….. Veterans DESERVE better.

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