Passing on full-practice authority

A reader weighs in on suboxone prescribing practices.
A reader weighs in on suboxone prescribing practices.

I am writing to support Ms. Pulver's letter ["No thanks, on full-practice authority," Advisor Forum, March 2016], and to thank her. I also have almost 40 years of physician assistant practice behind me and remember clearly the sales push for oxycontin, the "nonaddicting" wonder drug. Suboxone, I think, is going to prove to be no different. Our society has always leaned toward the easy fix, but in drug addiction, there isn't one.

Working now in the emergency room setting, I have cause to often order drug screens. What I consistently see is urine samples that test positive for suboxone, methamphetamine, cocaine, and opiates, and I rarely see one that tests positive for only suboxone. Suboxone has been sold in many forms, each one changed as it has been noted how easy it is to crush, cook, inject, etc. This is not the history of a safe drug or one that has any place in our practices for helping addicts.

I also agree that we should have full prescribing privileges, the same as MDs and DOs; however, I do not think that anyone should be prescribing suboxone.—Beatrice Balsamo, PA-C, MPAS, Ranchos de Taos, N.M. (211-4)


These are letters from practitioners around the country who want to share their clinical problems and successes, observations and pearls with their colleagues. We invite you to participate. If you have a clinical pearl, submit it here.
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