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of lurid or otherwise shocking anecdotes in lieu of meaningful data and
sober statistical analysis.
Consider the "Scope of the
Problem" section of the DEA's "A Closer Look At State
Prescription Monitoring Programs"
which, after all, was written by a DEA 'Program Analyst:'
Kentucky is a hotbed of prescription drug abuse. The reasons
are many - drug seeking patients, pill-pushing doctors, no-questions-asked
pharmacists, and lax oversight and enforcement." Two examples cited: During
a 15-month period, a woman visited 10 doctors a total of 45 times, went to
three hospitals' emergency rooms at total of 43 times, visited four
dentists, had 30 prescribers of medicine, filled 159 prescriptions in 103
visits to eight drugstores. Cost to the state $14,508; after she was
restricted, her treatment for one year dropped to $3,091. During a 15-month
period, a man visited five doctors a total of 56 times, went to two
hospitals' emergency rooms a total of 18 times, had 224 prescriptions filled
in 114 visits to 15 drugstores. Cost to the state $32,130; after he was
restricted, his care for one year dropped to $5,604."
One might expect to find data and
analysis demonstrating, minimally, a mastery of the real situation and a
reasonable plan of action and a plausible connection between the two.
Instead, the taxpayer is treated to anecdotes worthy of tabloid journalism.