One if By Land
I hope that schools today still teach the story of Paul Revere’s courageous ride. Although he is famous, people do not know the names of the three patriots who climbed the Old North Church Steeple and displayed the lanterns which signaled the movement of the British Army.
In a September 24, 2012 Business Insurance article by Roberto Cenceros another hero is profiled who walks in obscurity. His name is Dr. Gary Franklin, a neurologist and medical director for the Washington State Dept. of Labor and Industry. He was one of the first, in 2003, to present scientific evidence regarding the dangers of addictive narcotics in treating work comp pain.
He was roundly jeered at conferences, was the subject of legal action and fought a lonely battle against the drug companies as he sounded the alarm from overuse/misuses of OxyContin and other narcotics. This was almost a decade before the Federal government began issuing warnings and before work comp stakeholders now realize that employers/insurers could be held negligent not only for the cost of addiction services but for the deaths of claimants.
Dr. Franklin sounded the alarm, now it is up to us to make sure this message is spread:
“treating chronic, non malignant pain with opioids is controversial because increased doses of the prescription have not been tied to health improvements”
“before doctors increase injured workers’ opioid doses beyond a certain level, they should seek additional medical opinions and other possible interventions”.
At OMCA we don’t use lanterns to spread the alarm, but we do use the science.
Chief Executive Officer