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            We know that there is disparity in women’s health care, treatment, and support. We are committed to improving the lives of women and strongly advocating for their wellbeing.  That is why we take a stand and hold medical professionals accountable when medical care falls short of expected standards by delivering the best outcome in medical negligence claims affecting women.

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            We understand you may feel let down because you have experienced inadequate or negligent care and treatment in a hospital or medical facility. Your wellbeing is most important to us and we are committed to supporting you with compassion and holding medical professionals accountable for breach of duty and negligent care.

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            Experiencing poor or adverse outcomes from allied health treatment can be distressing and life changing. We are here to support you through your claim and it is our aim to hold allied health professionals accountable for their breach of care by delivering the outcome you deserve to your negligence claims.

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            Hello, I’m Jade. I’m here to help you with a quick call that will help us better understand your legal concerns. This way, I can connect you with the lawyer who is best suited to assist you with your situation.

            Your well-being is important to us, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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            If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, our specialist team of Personal Injury Lawyers is here to support you with compassion and understanding providing you with the right advice. Our team has substantial experience and expertise in these matters to deliver the outcomes you deserve from your claim.

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            Our specialist team in Personal Injury law is here to support you in accessing proper compensation if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. We have cutting edge expertise and experience in public liability claims to deliver the outcome you deserve.

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            We strongly believe that educational institutions must be held accountable when failing to protect children while in their care. If you have experienced institutional physical or sexual abuse, our specialist team in Personal Injury law is here to support you with compassion and offer our technical expertise and experience to deliver the best outcome in your case.

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            When you sustain an injury or illness because of work, you may be entitled to  compensation. Our specialist team in Personal Injury Law is here to support you with compassion and understanding with the right advice. We have substantial technical expertise to deliver the best possible outcome from your claim.

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            Your well-being is important to us, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

            Call me on 02 4050 0330 or email admin@conradcurrylaw.com.au

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            When we provide advice on estate planning, we believe  in giving advice on options to mitigate the risks of litigation by potentially unhappy family members and protecting your assets from claims. Our legal team is here to support you and address your concerns regarding your estate planning. We have immense experience in these matters, providing you with advice and representation for your unique situation and delivering the best outcomes for your case.

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            We have immense experience and specialised knowledge in family provision and wills disputes Where you have not been properly and adequately provided for under a will or where you suspect that the person making the will may not have had capacity or exercised their own free will, you need a lawyer with extensive experience and expertise. Our team of Lawyers will  provide you with advice and representation for your unique situation and deliver the best outcomes for your case.

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            We rely on professionals in all aspects of our lives to provide us with proper advice on which to make decisions about our financial and legal affairs. When you are let down by poor advice the results can be devastating.  We are here to support you in your claim for compensation with clarity, guidance and the right advice to achieve the outcome you deserve.

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            Call me on 02 4050 0330 or email admin@conradcurrylaw.com.au

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Addictive pain medication and GPs

An area of concern which has grown immensely over the last two decades is the overuse and abuse of prescription pain medication.

Studies in the United States of America and Canada reveal that there has been a 68% increase in unintended deaths associated with opioid use in the first 2 decades of this millennium.

Moreover, the correlation between unintended deaths and the steep increased prescription of opioids such as OxyContin and benzodiazepines such as Alprazolam is remarkably consistent. It is hard to know whether the increase in the prescription of these drugs relates to an increase in non-malignant pain disorders in society or an increased willingness by doctors to prescribe opioids for existing conditions.

GPs have an immense role in primary care of patients.

In the clinical setting, doctors do prescribe potentially abusable drugs for therapeutic effects for chronic pain related conditions. These drugs can be mood altering, analgesic and give euphoric effects, and are highly addictive. All patients on long term opioids become physically dependent and get withdrawal symptoms, but when the withdrawal symptoms include behavioural problems this is addiction.

Abusers of pain medication often target new, overseas trained and female doctors but are a challenge to all GPs with their persuasive stories, urgent requests and occasionally aggressive and threatening manner.

In a recent Medical Board of NSW decision where a practitioner was deregistered as the result of inappropriate prescribing matters, the Board said:

“Overall, the flavour of the respondent’s evidence was that he was a slave to the patient’s request for drugs, he could counsel and advise them to reduce but in the end submitted to their demands. The Tribunal finds this demonstrates both a lack of insight but also a failure to exercise his responsibilities as a medical practitioner.”

Unfortunately, there are inadequate prescription monitoring mechanisms in Australia such as to allow real-time prescription monitoring across the state and country. There is a concerted push in most states of Australia for such a system, but it does not yet exist. The Commonwealth Government has implemented a 24 hour service through the Medicare Prescription Shopping Information Service which allows GPs to search (without the need for patient consent) for their patient to see whether they are a known doctor shopper.

Extreme caution needs to be exercised by GPs in recognising and dealing with patients who have a chronic pain condition and may be overusing or abusing their pain medication.

GPs are guided by the Royal Australian College of Physicians publication, which is endorsed by RACGP – Prescription Opioid Policy: Improving management of chronic non-malignant pain and prevention of problems associated with prescription opioid use.

GPs need to better recognise and deal with patients who have chronic pain conditions but who may be overusing or misusing their pain medication, identify risk factors such as past or present substance abuse and psychiatric illness, personality disorders that affect their response to pain, and those who exhibit behavioural difficulties. In some instances it may be best to manage a patient in a multidisciplinary way involving GP, pain specialist and psychiatrist.

Some strategies recommended under the policy are as follows:

  • Develop standing clinical policies on the prescription of drugs of addiction and stick to them
  • Engage the patient in a treatment programme
  • Say ‘no’ to the requested prescription if there is reason to believe the drugs are being abused or misused
  • See the patient more frequently so as to avoid the large one-off consumption
  • Arrange for the pharmacy to dispense smaller quantities more frequently
  • Request urine tests
  • Adopt a multidisciplinary approach
  • Switch to a methadone or buprenorphine programme if signs appear of ongoing drug abuse

The Law Office of Conrad Curry has had a number of cases involving GPs and the overdose and subsequent death of people from pain medication who have had chronic non-malignant pain conditions. The area is complex and challenging but the GPs duty is high. If you would like to discuss this article or a potential case in this field please feel free to contact our office on 02 4050 0330 to make an obligation free appointment or book online.

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