Opiates column was careless and harmful


A recent column ("Opiates, opiates everywhere! Which one shall I take?" June 5) made several statements that are careless, inaccurate and harmful.

I have been a physician at the Campus Health Service for the last 13 years. Currently, and during most of those years, I have had an active role in our Quality Improvement Program. Ongoing aspects of this comprehensive program include monitoring the accur acy of diagnosis and appropriateness of medications prescribed. Monitoring methods include peer review of medical charts, focused audits and investigations of any complaints or adverse outcomes. This objective monitoring has never indicated any problems with overprescribing or inappropriate prescribing of codeine at the Campus Health Service. Additional controls are in place to detect, limit and deal with inappropriate drug-seeking behavior.

When codeine is prescribed for pain relief or cough suppression, it can significantly assist a patient in their recuperative efforts. It remains, however, only one of many options we can offer patients in appropriate circumstances. While we strive to deliver responsive, compassionate, high quality medical care, the ultimate quality of your health depends largely on how responsibly you deal with such options.

Dr. Joy Greenway
Campus Health Service