GOLDEN, Colo. — A survey by the National Pain Foundation of more than 300 people who live with chronic pain is shedding light on how chronic pain sufferers are treated by their healthcare providers.
The findings revealed that pain patients are uncomfortable when visiting their pharmacy. Fifty-two percent said they "are concerned that they will be treated like a drug addict by their pharmacist," with 29% expressing concern that they would "be embarrassed by their pharmacist."
"This comes as no surprise given the plethora of media attention on prescription pain medicine abuse, addiction and death," said Daniel Bennett, MD, chair of the National Pain Foundation. "The problem is that the vast majority of people who use pain medicine need those medicines, and they should not be treated any differently than someone fulfilling a prescription for an antibiotic or an antidepressant."
Almost 1-in-5 respondents (17%) reported that they were "treated poorly or very poorly" by their pharmacists.
Open comments from the survey are revealing as well:
- "I have been degraded, humiliated, called a drug addict, told I take enough meds to kill an elephant."
- "I have a wonderful team of doctors, but it took 10 years of being treated poorly before I was diagnosed."
- "My doctor is more worried about the DEA than about treating me."
- "Of all the doctors I've seen, only two heard me and understood. The rest assumed I was there for drugs."
To see all results from the survey, titled "I'm Treated Like A ...," click here.