Pain management has always been a heavily debated topic, largely because everyone’s tolerance to pain is different. However, it’s clear that our solutions to this problem aren’t serving the long-term needs of the public. When 116 lives are lost every day due to the opioid crisis, it’s clear we need a different plan of attack.
Progressive Care Inc. (OTC. QB: RXMD) was recently featured in top pharmacy publication World Pharma Today because they’re choosing to speak out against opioids in an effort to fight the problem. CEO S. Parikh Mars understands that sometimes opioids are indeed necessary to treat pain, but that they should be avoided whenever and wherever possible. Learn more about the problem, and what RXMD is doing to contribute to the solution.
The first step to combating the crisis is undoubtedly to explore alternative, nonaddictive treatments. The public hasn’t heard very much about these treatments because much of the research has been stalled by a variety of obstacles. As profits continued to mount for pharmaceutical companies and regulations continued to become more stringent, the focus shifted away from alternative treatments.
And this is a true shame because alternatives can be just as effective as their opioid counterparts. In a year-long recently study published in JAMA, researchers found that opioids were not better than alternative treatments when it came to long-term pain management. And yet, many people still believe that opioids are the best way to treat pain, but this is simply not the case. The more RXMD can help their patients realize this, the more they hope that patients will challenge their doctors.
From over the counter medications (e.g., naproxen and ibuprofen) to nerve pain modifiers, there are plenty of options that can be used either on their own or in conjunction with other medications. The US Department of Health and Human Services has also called for more health surveillance and additional research on pain management. Progressive Care has made a pledge to work with their partners to help educate both healthcare professionals and patients alike. Patients need to become more involved with their treatment plans, forming a two-way street with their providers. Progressive Care understands this and is working towards a sustainable model that will make it happen.
Doctors have been relying on opioids for far too long, reaching for a prescription pad practically every chance they get. And unfortunately, this trend is still going strong. Even though millions of people are being put at risk, 2017 saw rates of more than 191 million prescriptions written. And while these are the lowest numbers in the past few years, that’s still millions of people who are now vulnerable to addiction. Between increased healthcare costs, law enforcement, and addiction treatment, this epidemic is costing America around $78.5 billion a year.
It’s easy to see why this all happened. In the 1990s, doctors were told that opioids weren’t addictive, despite being close cousins to heroin. The clear majority of heroin users today (about 80%) admitted to first being introduced to the drug through legally prescribed opioids. And when it only takes about five days to become addicted to the drug, the demand was strong enough to encourage all kinds of illicit behaviors. From patients selling their excess pills to drug seekers stealing to fund their habit, opioids are doing far more harm than good.
Progressive Care has seen success because of their proactive approach to medication management. They encourage all of their staff to be in touch with what their patients’ needs. It’s extremely common for people to misunderstand their treatment plan or to alter it for their own reasons. Simple tactics such as explaining their doctor’s orders, asking questions, and following-up during the course of treatment has proved to be effective in improving patient outcomes. As our society becomes more and more virtual, RXMD understands that patients need a human touch now more than ever.
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