Sound Off: Do Doctors Over-Prescribe?

Are doctors to blame for prescription drug crisis or does it fall on individuals who make the choice to abuse medications?

A Queens doctor who reportedly supplied painkillers to pharmacy killer David Laffer is now facing charges of selling prescriptions after a Queens man overdosed on powerful opiates.  

Stan Xuhui Li has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which could send him to prison for 50 years. Last week Newsday reported that Li, among more than two dozen other doctors, wrote prescriptions for Laffer, who was recently to life in prison for gunning down four people inside a Medford pharmacy on Father's Day.

Laffer filled 24 prescriptions from Li--for more than 2,500 hydrocodone pills--in the two years prior to the shootings, according to Newsday.  

In a in court before being sentenced earlier this month, Laffer made reference to "doctor shopping."

"I know that it doesn't begin to explain or excuse my horrific actions that day," he said. "However, if a discussion and recognition of prescription pill abuse and doctor shopping has been generated among the public, then maybe something beneficial can come from this."

We want to hear from you. Putting aside blatant prescription selling, such as what Li is charged with, do you think doctors over-prescribe medications? Have you personally been given a prescription and thought, "I really don't need this" or "This may just make this worse?" Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.


Nancy K. Nee November 28, 2011 at 01:32 PM
Well said Vito..and thanks for defending me....I don't think I'm out of touch either..I agree that personal accountability is a must here, but still feel that if Dr's. didn't over prescribe very addictive meds, there would be less of a problem. Dr.s need to be accountable for their actions, as well as the patients. That's a no brainer. But the Dr.s are the ones writing and refilling the scripts time and time again~ that script from the DOCTORS, begins the slippery slope of addiction...Not for all of course, but for many. Personally I would rather take an over the counter med and endure some discomfort, but that's me...that doesn't mean the Dr. didn't prescribe something stronger, I just chose not to fill that script...that's the reality of my personal accountability
Irene November 28, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Vito, I did not insult you any more than you did by calling my post a "rant". Tort liability is very real Vito. Many doctors aren't able to be the kind of doctor they would prefer to be only because of the sue happy society, led by rogue unethical vermin in the law industry. So because people prefer to hold the doctor to 100% accountability, Tort reform will never happen. It's that whole mindest of not being responsible for our own actions, quite outrageous actually. For example, spilling a cup of coffee on your own crotch and then suing McDonalds for your own stupidity equals nothing short of highway robbery. I am not a doctor but I can imagine the pressure these professionals are under, with all the legal avenues of manipulation one can try in an attempt to win a malpractice lawsuit. I have spoken to my doctors over the years, and they have expressed the cunning operations of lawyers and patients who become the client in a law suit that should have never gotten it's feet off the ground to begin with. Personal accountability is the responsibility of every adult in our population in concert with whatever professional we go to for our individual care, as I said before it's called being pro-active. I think a person knows when they have reached the point of addiction so we need to stop the all inclusive "blame" game. I believe that Tort reform will easily manage some of this supposed "over prescribing" on relentless patients who pose a threat while too "ill" to be a threat.
Vito November 28, 2011 at 09:04 PM
I did not suggest that tort reform is not real, just that it has very little, if anything, to do with the over prescribing of medication. Trust me, no one would consider over-prescribing of pain medication as defensive medicine. I think you also need to do a little reading on addiction. One of the major components of addiction is that people DON'T know when "they have reached the point of addiction". Perhaps digression would have been better than rant.
Elizabeth K November 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I think treatment for getting off these drugs is a good start to help the people who are suffering from the addiction. When pain meds, anti anxiety/ depression are given. There needs to be follow up with the patient during their treatment. More Comprehensive treatment would be best. Students who are interning could help with follow ups. This would be a great way to see how patients are doing and being effected by the drugs they are given. So in the future when they are prescribing they'll have a better idea of what goes on after the patient leaves the office. Other Doctors who are intentionally over prescribing with no regard for the patients well being should be prosecuted. That's why there are ethics.
bug November 29, 2011 at 06:02 PM
I might be a junkie, you too, you dont know. Some people are over the top in days to weeks with some of these drugs(medicines). Look at crystal meth while this is not prescribed, the rate of relapse from rehab after treatment is about 95%. Only 5% of people can walk away from this after treatment. Successful treatment 5% cure rate. For some people there is no cure.


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