Q & A – What is doctor shopping and why are people doing it?

Question:  What is doctor shopping and why are people doing it?  

Answer:  After hearing so many people talk about doctor shopping I thought I would explain it in detail.   Why it is so prevalent and why people are doing it?  And some solutions. 

The term “Doctor Shopping” is a person without legitimate pain finding a doctor willing to write a prescription for pain medication.  It can be one doctor or multiple doctors.  Most prescriptions come from pain clinics.  Most of the people who need pain medication are legitimate and by in large, 95% of all doctors are legitimate and understand the problem society has with addiction and the business of selling pain medications.   The doctors want to help.

Why is it so rampant?  MONEY!!!  A person goes to a doctor and gets a prescription for 190 Oxycodone pills (Percocet’s) (Whether he fakes his injury or not is another story all together) he or she can then make a lot of money. 

The cost of the visit might be $65 and to fill the prescription it is another $400. That is a total of $465.  The person then sells those pills for $15 to $20 a pill.  That is $2850 to $3800. Take the low number and the person makes a profit of $2385.

The person who gets the prescription is legal to have the pills so if he gets stopped by the cops, the cops can’t do anything.  The person doing this inadvertently gets hooked on these pills and then has no other alternative then to keep doing what they are doing.

There are two issues here, the person doing it to make money and the person doing it because of an addiction.  We can address both of them.  A database needs to be set up for doctors to search if a person has had more than one prescription filled by different doctors.  That will stop a person from going to multiple doctors in a short amount of time.

As for the once a month guy, he should have one doctor as his primary care physician.  As a man who takes pain medication for a serious injury while in the service, I go to one doctor and he monitors my blood levels, kidney and liver functions and all other aspects of my care. 

Having a doctor monitor a person’s health on a long term bases will stop the guy trying to fake an injury to get medications to then sell.  The database will stop a person from going to multiple doctors.

I just explained why doctor shopping is so prevalent and hard to stop.  MONEY AND ADDICTION!  We need everyone on board from the doctors to law enforcement. 

Don’t give up on your loved one, whether it’s addiction or anything else.  People change, I did.  Addiction makes people do crazy things and I believe we have to help these people and not incarcerate them.  (The #1 addiction in Florida is pills and it is growing all over the world as well)

I am available for speaking engagements to small groups or large corporations on topics ranging from Prison issues, Drugs, Gangs, Bullying, Juvenile issues and right up to sales motivations.  Please click here to learn more.  Visit Lawton911 and the Reality Check Program DVD websites to learn more about available programs for your area.


Larry Lawton