usa-map usa-map

Learn more about the dangers of smurfing here

Learn more

Letter to the editor: Restrictions would harm doctors, patients

4.24.16– T.V. Nguyen, Tulsa World

As a student working to be a physician’s assistant, I have seen the problems our state’s medical infrastructure is facing, including a troubling lack of primary care physicians.

A 2016 study by Avalere Health found that Oklahoma has 167 primary physician shortage areas — meaning 25 percent of the state’s population is living in areas without a sufficient number of doctors.

The study demonstrates that our state ought to be trying to find ways to make it easier, not harder, on doctors and the families they serve. Unfortunately, some groups in Oklahoma subscribe to the idea that placing an increasing number of unnecessary restrictions on consumer access to over-the-counter cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine would help prevent the criminal production of methamphetamine. But these are bad ideas that wouldn’t work, while making the burden on doctors and families even worse.

Avalere also found that a prescription requirement would create 24,254 new doctor visits every year in a system that already is overcrowded. These unnecessary additional visits would further burden our already understaffed and overworked physicians and have an impact on the state’s wallet as well. Since prescription medications are not taxable, the state would lose an estimated $700,000 in tax revenue and need to spend $400,000 in new Medicaid costs.

Placing prescription requirements on these medicines would not achieve the plan’s desired result and would cause more harm than good for law-abiding citizens and the doctors whose focus should be on patients who genuinely need them.

Read more here.