Doctors Struggle With Pill Seeking Patients -

Doctors Struggle With Pill Seeking Patients


It's 11am on a Wednesday and the Emergency Room at Spartanburg Regional is already filled with paramedics and patients.  People are lined up and waiting to see doctors like Chris Lombardozzi.

Nearly every day, he says one of those prospective patients is here to tell a lie.

"If you're willing to lie to us you're probably going to get what you want," Dr. Lombardozzi said.

Lombardozzi said those patients want prescription narcotics.  Usually they're seeking addictive painkillers.  As a doctor, he's sworn to help those patients who are suffering and to treat their pain, but he can refuse treatment for someone he thinks is telling tall tales.

Still, it can take a lenghty exam or costly tests and even then its hard to know how much pain another person is really feeling.

"They know that if they come to an emergency department they give us a good story of a type of ache or pain we're probably likely to give them that (prescription)," Lombardozzi said.

South Carolina does try to monitor pill seekers.  The Department of Health and Envoronmental Control uses a system called "SCRIPT" which tracks prescriptions filled at state pharmacies.

Even then, pharmacy owners like David Maney say too many pill seekers get through.

"Too many people to catch too many eggs to fry whatever you want to call it, it's just like they're overworked," Maney said.

"There's no law against lying to your doctor," Lombardozzi said.



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