Fentanyl Kills: Using TIRF for Breakthrough Pain/A Crime

If doctors don’t know this they should not be allowed to treat pain.
Traditionally, the decision whether to prescribe a certain medication off-label or not is reserved for the independent judgment of the physician and the specific needs of the patient. Off-label uses of prescription medication are not regulated by the FDA and may be employed as long as the prescription is within the standard of care and is prescribed in the usual course of professional practice and for a legitimate medical purpose.

Recently, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has initiated criminal and administrative action against physicians who prescribe opioids, such as transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF), off-label for the treatment of breakthrough pain. This trend presents an increased risk for physicians prescribing TIRF products for the treatment of noncancer breakthrough pain. Physicians choosing to prescribe TIRF products for noncancer breakthrough pain must be aware of increased scrutiny and take a proactive approach to diagnosing, documenting and monitoring patients treated with TIRF products.

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