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Roseburg VA overprescribes to veterans for years

As reported in the News Review Jan. 12, 2018, “The Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center has the highest rate of opioid prescriptions of any VA in the country, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” This is not the first time that the Roseburg VA has topped the charts of overprescribing. As a local physician that many of the VA employees seem to denigrate, I have seen how they fail to properly monitor and prescribe to their patients. Veterans used to get prescriptions mailed to them on a monthly basis, even when they had not used up their previous prescription. Many veterans had multiple bottles at home; basically hoarding a large supply given freely to them by the VA. Many of the veterans’ records that I have reviewed also showed that the medical providers were not the ones prescribing the medications, it was the pharmacists. Pharmacists can not prescribe opiates in Oregon, but since federal facilities like the VA do not have to follow state laws, they do what they want. Providers do not have to be licensed in the state they work, so they may be licensed in another state and unable to even get a license in Oregon, yet they are allowed to work at an Oregon VA facility. Basically no real supervision over many years that has led to major problems at the VA.

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