A pain clinic in nearby Vancouver, Washington, has been getting some press
lately, and it’s not positive. The clinic has been accused of overprescribing
pain medication and has been under investigation. The Payette Clinic opened
in 2005 and is run by nurse practitioners (i.e., there are no medical
doctors on staff). On March 19, 2009, the clinic’s records were
seized in a raid by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and on March 23
the clinic informed its patients that it would no longer prescribe Class
II opiates, such as oxycodone or morphine (many area pharmacies had stopped
filling prescriptions from the Payette Clinic). On March 30 Washington
State’s Department of Health filed charges against one of the nurse
practitioners for improper prescribing.
The Department of Health had received dozens of complaints about the clinic
since it opened. The clinic is said to treat patients suffering from chronic
pain with high doses of addictive pain medications.
So what are your thoughts on this? Does the clinic seem legitimate? Is
it providing a necessary service and serving a community ignored by other