Small town doctor fights back against opiate restrictions

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The opiate epidemic has the medical community clamping down on the prescribing of the addictive narcotics.

Yet some doctors are saying it's gotten too restrictive and now people who need the medications can't get them.

Dr. William Bauer is a Neurologist and Pain Specialist who practices in the rural areas in Bellevue in Erie, Huron and Sandusky Counties. He treats 1,500 patients for chronic pain and says he's having trouble getting the big chain pharmacies to fill prescriptions for his patients.

"Pharmacists have the right to review the script and they have that right, I don't have a problem with that," says Bauer said.

However he does have a problem with them cutting off his prescriptions in what he calls an arbitrary move, based on their judgment, not honoring his medical decisions.

"I think I should at least have due process. Why are you doing this? And most importantly - it's not about me. They put my patients at risk of sickness."

Dr. Bauer says he's called the medical board and the pharmacy board and they've both told him there's nothing they can do because he has all the proper licenses to prescribe opiates for pain management.

"It's the same as prohibition. I call it drughibition in which they're looking at the drug and demonizing the drug. Not looking at what needs to be done to treat the patients."

Bauer does have smaller independent pharmacies that will work with him on filling his prescriptions so his patients don't have to do without their medications.

And he is continuing to lobby for reform from the bigger chain pharmacies which are often the only place some of his patients can go to get insurance to cover their prescriptions.