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… will be tracing the infiltration of the prescription drug trade into American medical schools. We’ll follow stories about pill mills housed inside universities. We’ll note increasing numbers of people going to medical school, and choosing anesthesiology and related fields, with the express purpose of being able to write prescriptions for millions of opioids and other drugs.

A hospital affiliated with Cornell and Columbia has recently removed an anesthesiologist drug dealer from its staff of physicians (he worked with other doctors there in the business). He prescribed pills for his girlfriend, who then sold them, mainly online.

His girlfriend is a medical student. Get the picture?

It’ll become clearer (“[I]n a growing number of states, deaths from prescription drugs now exceed those from motor vehicle accidents.”) in the next few months.

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4 Responses to “One of this blog’s 2011 activities…”

  1. cloudminder Says:

    one of my fav UD posts is “The Leadership Racket” — could it pls also get more coverage this year and its own category on the side bar?

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Hm – lemme see if I can find that one, cloudminder. Not a bad idea for a category – you’re right. I think I currently stash a lot of that sort of stuff in Trustees Trashing the Place…

    *********************

    Found the post:

    http://www.margaretsoltan.com/?p=23474

    I can be pretty amusing when I put my mind to it.

  3. DM Says:

    In the United States, as in most European countries, there are 1) legal drugs (alcohol) 2) regulated drugs (tranquilizers, anesthetics, and so on), 3) illegal drugs (cannabis, etc.).

    The State heavily represses the consumption and dealing of 3). A user of illegal drugs may face prison time. In contrast, a person who pesters her general practitioner for a prescription of tranquilizers, or fakes symptoms in order to get painkillers, faces nothing.

    In France, lately, a scandal erupted. Some prescription drug related to amphetamines, meant to be used in certain cases of diabetes, was in practice prescribed for weight loss (it cuts appetite). Unfortunately, the drug had side effects. Hundreds or even thousands of patients may have died from them.

    Do you expect prison for the laboratory management or for the physicians who prescribed the drug in order to induce weight loss? I don’t. In contrast, one risks jail for smoking weed.

    People’s behaviors follow the incentive structure of society. Using prescription drugs, and prescribing them outside of their intended use, is considerably less risky in legal terms than using illegal drugs (even though they may have more side effects). Furthermore, in many cases, these drugs get refunded by health insurance! As a consequence, white coat drug dealing is bound to develop.

    One solution would be that the State changes its incentive structure, and thus its drugs policies.

  4. University Diaries » You know now that pharmacies are dangerous places. Says:

    […] are also notorious sources of oxycodone. This blog has written about hospital personnel – medical students, nurses, doctors – who steal the stuff. The […]

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