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Who’s Prescribing the Most Hydrocodone in Your Area?

Yesterday, the big health care news was the FDA's recommendation to impose more restrictions on how doctors prescribe hydrocodone, an opiod painkiller found in many commonly prescribed drugs, like Vicodin. As ProPublica has previously reported, these are also some of the most widely abused drugs. With this problem back in the headlines, our Prescriber Checkup news app, which covers elderly and disabled patients in Medicare's Part D program, is again a viable resource for news organizations who want to find out who's prescribing these kinds of drugs – and how much.

Using our app, you can easily search for the top prescribers of hydrocodone in your area:

  • First, select your state in the dropdown menu. You can also click on the state name in the mid-left section of the page under "Prescriptions by State." That should lead you to a page with the top specialties and top drugs for your state. Here's the one for New York, for example.
  • You can search for "hydrocodone" or sort the top drugs alphabetically and scroll down till you see "hydrocodone bit-ibuprofen" and "hydrocodone-acetaminophen." These pages will list the providers who have submitted the most Medicare claims for these drugs. Alternatively, you can search for hydrocodone in the "Top Drugs" list on the main page towards the mid-right. This will take you to a page listing the top hydrocodone prescibers in the country.
  • You can then click on the provider's name to see more information: the doctor's specialty, characteristics about the prescriber's patients, the prescriber's top-ranked drugs and how that breakdown compares with others in their specialty in state. Again, in New York, the top prescriber of hydrocodone-acetaminophen is Pravin Mehta. This doctor has filled more than 2,400 prescriptions of hydrocodone, making it his #1 drug, which is odd since it averages to the #32 drug among his peers.

Hydrocodone is one of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs in the U.S. In 2011 alone, there were about 131 million prescriptions for products containing the popular narcotic, according to an FDA report in January.

See how doctors in your area measure up. And for more information on our Prescriber Checkup news app, read our FAQ.

Zakari Tata MD.,

Oct. 27, 2013, 6:38 a.m.

This may not be a fair representation. Some doctors practice in areas where pain is under treated. We have anecdotal stories comparing amounts of narcotics dispensed after similar fractures between urban ERs and Suburban ERs. This under treatment of pain may be a factor. Also in urban areas many people lack health insurance and so rely on the one insured family member to get scripts for all. It has also been established that people on Medicaid use more narcotics. A physician may find himself practicing is such an area where all these factors are combined. A physician practicing in an underserved area like parts of Detroit with limited doctors will have a higher rate. There have been many abuses by physicians but this report ma unfairly label some physicians who are in a high risk area. In addition based on your demographics, some specialists like orthopedic and rheumatologic doctors will refuse to prescribe you narcotics because they stereotype your demographic with abuse. This means that your local physician is stuck with prescribing narcotics that specialists have refused. Just looking at numbers is not enough.

There is one doctor in Newton, TX who has prescribed more than the population of the entire town (maybe even the entire county).  There are 4 doctors in TX that have prescribed more than the entire Parkland Hospital!!??  Does the AMA look at these numbers?

Dr. Tata, I have similar misgivings about this data, but the solution is to build on it, not dismiss it.  I’d expect a doctor to prescribe more painkillers where there’s more manual labor, for example.  If there are open databases with the information you suggest, it could be combined with what ProPublica is presenting.

Is this open information, or are these just generalizations that “everybody in the industry knows”?  If it’s the latter, I’ll stick with the numbers.  If it’s the former, though, then those numbers should be added.

Actually, Vicodin is not the cheapest drug, Methadone has that distinction and is being over-used by pain doctors because of the cost and because of all the restrictions on other pain medications.  And the risks to pain patients continue…

I’d like to make 3 points.

1) the article’s description of hydrocodone, in the last paragraph, is a bit slanted toward “bad drug’ rather than “pain treatment”. Of course “Hydrocodone is one of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs in the U.S. ” because pain is a symptom of dozens of conditions, from dental pain to post-operative pain, from arthritis to a broken leg. And while the phrase “popular narcotic”, in the same paragraph, is true in a literal sense, it also carries implications of “a bad drug [=narcotic] that people really like [popular]”.
2. While I recognize harm caused by misuse and abuse of painkillers, and the desire to lessen that harm,
    a. these campaigns always increase the stigmatization and suspicion of pain patients who deserve effective treatment just as much as patients with cancer or heart disease, and,
    b. maybe we should be asking, what is it about our Western culture which makes so many people seek refuge in drugs and alcohol. Some young people feel so empty and alienated they sniff glue, gasoline, and paint. Go up the river and find out why so many dead bodies are floating downstream.

joe sweeney

Feb. 10, 10:12 p.m.

i have had 4 back surgeries in the last 3 years.  docters dont like to perscribe vicodin in my 91302 area code i only take 3 a day and i dont want to buy it on the street   i have medicare insurance a&b

This new gun ho approach to stopping over prescribing of pain meds hasn’t been thought out very well as to what the addicts do if they can’t get their fix. By no means do I support the abuse of the pills but where are these people going to turn to get them. Yes the price is going to raise dramatically amd combined with the lower amount prescribed are these people going to turn to violence or maybe another drug like heroin.  It seems to me there’s is no real thought into this whole process of stopping the abuse. One side effect is what about the real people in pain. With doctors now scared to prescribe the meds due to labeling them as dealers and what not as well as some doctors looking at every patient as a drug seeking addict if they complain about pain. I have had 2 back surgeries my self my lower discs have totally blown out I have a coupe bulging discs as well combined with arthritis in my spine i have the mri and reports with me every time i see a doctor. I am 43 I work 60 hours a week my doctor has retired and every doctor I see thinks I’m there for drugs I’m willing to take drug tests and do anything to help with pain except more surgery and they still insist I’m there for drugs. It makes me furious to see doctors label me a drug addict and they dont even know me because once they hear I have pain they insist im there seeking drugs and not help I even told a couple if you can help with my pain without pills im more then willing to try yet they still think im there for drugs and theres no words to describe how much of a lowlife they make me feel like.

Chris,

You could try seeing a pain specialist. One with good credentials has the education and experience to deal with your situation instead of a knee-jerk denial of medication. In my state doctors have a legal responsibility to help a patient control his or her pain, or refer the person to another doctor who will/can do so.

Chris,

I’m from Texas, where the State Medical Board and DEA basically put the fear of God in the whole pain management industry.  Raids, intimidation, and fear are the law of the land.  It is almost impossible for pain patients in Texas to find adequate treatment.

As long as the drug war rages on, as a pain patient, you are pretty much on your own.

Do not spend your money on an expensive pain specialist.  They cannot offer you anything that will work long-term for chronic pain.  I went from taking 6 different drugs every day for pain, to not taking any at all—by switching to medical cannabis.  Sure, I had to move to New Mexico to do it, but it was worth it.

It was scary to let go of big pharma, but I can’t tell you how much easier it is to deal with intractable pain now that I am not dependent upon, and controlled by, the medical establishment.

If a 25-year intractable pain patient can survive without the medical industry, then maybe you can too?  Good luck, Chris.

Christy Summers

March 6, 1:50 a.m.

Who is Prescribing the most Hydrocodone in Memphis, Tn.

In soo much pain after durgery. Beeb without my norco.

joe sweeney

April 14, 2:15 p.m.

i get all the reasons abought pain killers. micheal jackson is a main example of the medias effect on docters overdoing it and in my experiance some ... i have had 4 major back surgeries, 4 knee surgeries, achilles tendon sewn back together, and an ankel turn a full left turn.. i am in constant pain. always.  i would rather be dead few years earlier than live in constant pain. you dont know what its like to wake up in so much pain you really cant geto ut of bed.. even with all my x-rays,mri~ c.t.scans,epidurals i still have a problem getting pain meds because docters are scared to give me pain meds.. id rather die a reasonable pain free life and take meds than live till im 80 and in constant pain..“i rather die while im livin, than live will im dead”.  JOE SWEENEY

I looking for a pain dr I’m having trouble with my spine I had a operation in 96 and it’s been a month with no improvments

I understand the fustration of finding a doctor that gives a crap, or is more afraid if dea than to remember that he is my doctor. I always thought that a doctor was supposed to care more about his patient.. it seems like now the only way you can get any relief from pain is if you are dying from cancer. I wish that the people making the laws that affect us had to live in my body… because I am sure they wo u ld all change their tune… since all of these laws that make dictors afraid to treat their patients. Like people, the only people who are not in pain are the ones who were never in pain to begin with…  I have just list my doctor who gave a crap, he retired,  now I haved to find a new one, all I have found are doctors who want me to be in pain, its like they do not even lusten to me, all they hear. Is im in pain, then they close there ears and hearts… I wishbi didnt ever need to take another pill again as long as I lived, but that us not my reality for now…. anyone know of a doctor that cares in tacoma, wa.????

I am a cardiac surgery patient,  and how is it I had open heart surgery,  & I can’t fill a prescription for percocet or other Opioid painkillers ??? That is so unfair to the people who actually really need these drugs for their real pain , & as stated above;  this is the most affordable relief for severe pain. Like said, other alternatives are far too expensive,  and being that I am on anticoagulants , and allergic to nsaids , I cannot take anything with ibuprofen or aspirin in it.  SO YOU TELL ME WTF I’m supposed to do? !!!!
I am so upset about this; that I’ve been through enough suffering from surgery and my condition!  And now I have to play freakin games just to fill a legitimate prescription !!!!! ??
I’m sorry for using vulgarity,  but I AM F**KIN PISSED THE F**K OFF !!!
Can someone please explain how the heck are we supposed to deal with the pain ???

I am a cardiac surgery patient,  and how is it I had open heart surgery,  & I can’t fill a prescription for percocet or other Opioid painkillers ??? That is so unfair to the people who actually really need these drugs for their real pain , & as stated above;  this is the most affordable relief for severe pain. Like said, other alternatives are far too expensive,  and being that I am on anticoagulants , and allergic to nsaids , I cannot take anything with ibuprofen or aspirin in it.  SO YOU TELL ME WTF I’m supposed to do? !!!!
I am so upset about this; that I’ve been through enough suffering from surgery and my condition!  And now I have to play freakin games just to fill a legitimate prescription !!!!! ??
I’m sorry for using vulgarity,  but I AM Freakin PISSED OFF !!!
Can someone please explain how the heck are we supposed to deal with the pain ???

Joel consing

May 19, 11:58 p.m.

I am a cardiac surgery patient,  and how is it I had open heart surgery,  & I can’t fill a prescription for percocet or other Opioid painkillers ??? That is so unfair to the people who actually really need these drugs for their real pain , & as stated above;  this is the most affordable relief for severe pain. Like said, other alternatives are far too expensive,  and being that I am on anticoagulants , and allergic to nsaids , I cannot take anything with ibuprofen or aspirin in it.  SO YOU TELL ME WTF I’m supposed to And yes chris

Sorry,  but it posted like 3 times,
But yes Chris, I’m from BROOKLYN, but moved to Texas, where it’s impossible to get treated for your pain ! I agree with you,  they make you feel like you’re a damn dope fiend and it makes me feel terrible!  I work in health care in the O.R,  & I relate with the patients because I know what they are going through.  How is it that you can cut a person open, but can’t prescribe anything for pain ???????????
Let’s put the damn surgeons under the knife and ask them to deal with the pain !!! That’s the only way they will see what we are all talking about.

Is there a doctor in Northridge, Encino, Woodkand Hills, CA that will prescribe Promethazine, Hycodan, Phenergan, or SOMETHING FOR CHRONIC BRONICHITIS AND COUGH?

I live in massachusetts. I have artritis. Severe and i have ms etc. My doc lost his lic i have all mris. But cant find a compassinate doctor. The doctors are not doing there job by helping us with our pain cause they value there licence. More. I perfer methadone for pain but it doesnt matter Does anyone know a Doctor that would or might subscribe this for me. And we need Doc to do there job for us and not to stay focused on losing it for a ligtimate. Pt

John Glendenning

July 8, 5:05 p.m.

Chronic pain everywhere .

Rich tocci

July 12, 6:22 p.m.

My feelings are exactly the same as the other people that are in acute pain! I had a bad motorcycle crash over 30 year ago along with countless surgeries. I’ve gone through two pain management doctors over the last (eight or nine years) and their methods regarding hydrocodine prescriptions are changing rapidly. I really like and respect my current pain Dr however he keeps insisting on cutting back my dosages, and insists that the drug isn’t working! I’m sorry Doc but it DOES WORK.  I simply can not get out of bed and function without it! I’m 59 years old and would rather live without so much pain even if it means sacrificing years off my life.

it is soo sad that just about 95 percent of all docs including pain mgt are afraid because of the new laws, blah, blah.  I have MS, broken vertebrae, broken tailbone and I could go on. Every doc does think u r drug seeking - u r seeking help. WHY did u go to medical school? so u could have 2 little letters behind your name. I have such a fear of going to docs b/c of the way they are going to treat me. Wonder why 10,000 ppl die a yr of heroin now?. What is it going to take to wake up congress?.  I sometimes hate this country the way they treat the sick, hurt and disabled. So disgusted. When a doc finds their kid dead from OD’ing on heroin maybe something will be done about letting up on prescribing necessary meds.

IM   REALLY UPSET WITH MY GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS DEVAL PATRICK   HES MAKING IT SOOO HARD FOR DOCTORS TO PRESCRIBE HE DOESNT WANT DOCTORS PRESCRIBING ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH PAIN HE TRIED TO STOP A NEW DRUG FROM A PHARM CO TO LEGALLY DISPENCE HERE IN MASS WELL GOOD FOR THAT CO THEY ARE SUING HIM I THINK THAT CO LIKE PURDUE PHARM SHOULD DO THE SAME   MY GREATEST WISH OR MOMENT WOULD BE THAT WE THE THROW AWAYS WOULD GET BOND TOGETHER AND FIGHT THIS EVEN GET A LAWYER TO HELP DOCTORS ARE SUPPOSE TO TAKE CARE OF PT BUT WE ARE BEING NEGLECTED   RIGHT NOW I CAN TELL U I HAVE SUFFERED AWHOLE LOT CAUSE OF T5HIS MY QUALITY OF LIFE STINKS MANY OF YOU KNOW THIS MY DOC LIC WAS SUSPENDED WHICH HE HAS OVER 30 YR EXPERIENCE DR MASCHELLI WAS VERY MUCH EDUCATED     BUT   THE D E A   DOESNT HEAR US I WOULD LIKE US TO BE LOUD TO BE NOT IGNORED ANY LONGER BUT THEY NEED TO SEE AND WHEN IN A FEW YRS THEY FEEL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING LIKE WE DO THE ABONDEDMENT THE INSURCURTY WE FEEL   I KNOW I CANT HAVE A LIFE OR ONE THATS VER5Y PAINFUL   DOCTORS GOTTA BAND TOGHTER FOR THERE PT   IM SICK OF SUFFERING WE KNOW THERE SCARED BUY IF YOU GOT THE PROOF THAT YOU ARE SUFFERING LIKE MRI   THEN LOOK AT THEM AND HELP US   I PRAY EVERY DAY THAT IL FIND A COMPASSIONATE DOC THAT DOESNT GIVE AT DAMM THAT HIS PT COMES FIRST THIS IS ABOUT 7 MON LATER I AM STILL SUFFERING   THERE THE D E A   AND GOV ARE HURTING US AND DOC MY HOPE   AS IM READY TO POST THIS THAT ITS READ BY6 THE GROUPS THAT SRE HURTING US AND MOST OF ALL   THAT BY DOING THIS WE ARE   TOGHTER   AND SOMETHING GOOD MIGHT COM OUT OF THIS   THJE DOC   WE NEED TO SOME HOE GET A PETION GOING   THAT THE SUFFERING

Is there a doctor that prescribes Hydrocodone or the like IN MY AREA.
I seriously have Constant Chronic Pain!!!!
I have Numerous medical problems here.
Have been to 2 doctors here and neither one would write me Any pain medication. Said I would have to go to pain management doctor.
I have already be there done that.
Had 4 injections and None worked for me.
I am 51 years and have No quality of Life.
This is terrible!!!
Can someone help me find a doctor please.
I live in Mabank, TX/Henderson County USA
Thank you,
Cassie

I saw some comments about cancer pain and speaking personally as a person who has cancer it’s still near impossible to get the right amount of pain meds and it’s not always the doctors sometimes the pharmacy wouldn’t even fill my script I have had open heart surgery piece of my liver removed a testicle taken out this isn’t things I fake I hate it.

I have read all the comments above and I feel the same way. A month ago, I thought I was having a heart attack so I went to the er to get some tests done. The doctor then told me the pain I was experiencing was due to multiple compression fractures in my back. he then prescribed me a small amount of pain medication which helped me for a short time. I had my second mri done last week to find out that I have another broken vertabrea. My doctor said he would refer me to pain management to help with the pain. I have Medicaid insurance because I am unable to work as a result of my injuries. The doctor I was sent to does not accept Medicaid so I said that is fine, I will pay out of pocket. They said I could not do that. I then called another pain management doctor and there is a 4 month waiting list. I did my research and found out that I will have to suffer. I am not understanding why doctors will not prescribe pain medication for people that have had the tests done to prove there is a legitimate reason to take these medications. I am living in Louisiana and have emailed our congressman and governor about this issue and nothing is being done.

POS like the people running this site is what makes it difficult for people that are truly in pain to get relief.  I have medical proof of irreparable problems and get my relief, but it’s tooth and nail because of jackholes that think doctors do give this out like candy.  Would you rather one person abuse the drugs than 10 go without that are in pain? 

But no, you are running a witch hunt here.  I hope to god you never have a condition that causes you pain 24/7, because you are cutting your nose off to spite your face here.

I am now 63 yrs old. I was in a serous car accident at 25 yrs old. Then had back surgery for a ruptured disk at 32. I now have scoliosis bending in my spine and have also developed rheumatoid disease with all over pain as well as damage to internal organs. My pain is such that it can easily take me over half an hour to get out of bed. All I want is enough pain relief that I could do a few simple things around the house. I have never abused drugs or alcohol but I’m treated by so-called drs like I am some strung-out junkie. Medicine is now governed by popular opinion from magazines. Did you know that a prime tenet of the AMA is to help people control their pain?  It is also a listed goal for pediatric doctors as well as hospitals. Read the fine print next time you’re there. So, although all of the major doctor associations state that it is important for them to help us control their pain, most folks with pain are treated like a lower life form. The only thing I find amusing about this situation is the long line of people at the drug store who are buying booze. They don’t need to have pain. They can just want to get high and that’s perfectly ok. Thanks for letting me vent.

It doesn’t matter what we all do.. ive been in pain for years..  recently cant get pain meds..  The people in charge don’t give a crap about folks in pain.. they want everyone to stay in pain and die..

I just like the buzz.

garrett from utah

Aug. 14, 3:19 p.m.

I too fill everyones frustration of these dam doctors not wanting to prescribe narcotics to all of us in real pain that truely need the help. i have had back problems for 8 yrs now however i did a while back get some control on the pain with yoga and exercise. but it has now taken a turn for the worst with new herniated disks and now very advanced sciatica. I have now atleast 6 herniated disc in my lower back. I need surgery they say but can’t afford it can’t work and was denied medicaid and no dr wants to give me pain meds so i could possibly get enough relief to work. I’m going to give up! I need help controling my pain the situation is to much. I think we all need to band together write letters to the government and really make them take a look at how they are affecting all of us that have to deal with this nonsense of not being able to get pain meds when allot if us truely need them. It is BS!!! Lets band together. that’s how we will change this crap.

Michael Holbrook

Aug. 17, 9:24 a.m.

Some how some way, we all need to get a petition together to start the process of getting these doctors to understand what we are going through.
My name is Michael Holbrook and my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I bet I could even get a numerous amount of doctors to sign this petition so we could get it to the right people that will listen.

All i have to say is that if the people that come up with those dumb laws about cutting people off pain meds, that REALLY need them, had the same pain issues that we have, they would not even be trying to change the laws to make it more harder on us to even get the help we need to survive on a daily basis.

Its people like the one who posted   I just like the buzz that is doing this.they should walk n our shoes.it really pisses me off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=143A1aUG-9I or if you can’t upload, look up Let’s Work Together by Canned Heat!

okay.  i am really scared now !  i have lived in California all my life, and just recently moved to Texas.  i was told by a few, that i might have problems getting meds, but my pain dr said that i had a very good medical history ie: 4 years of history with one pain dr treating my problems,mri reports, x ray reports, only get meds prescribed to me from one dr, and go to one pharmacy etc…  Also, i get radio frequency ablasions done on my c-spine, my thoracic spine, my lumabr spine and my SI joints.  i have major bursitis in the outside bands of my legs, that along with my constant sciatica pain is unbearable even with pain meds..  i was bed ridden for 9 months became a major alcoholic to help numb myself from my constant pain.  i will tell anyone reading this that I WILL NOT GO BACK THROUGH ALL THAT PAIN again.  i will kill myself.  i have all those procedures AND am on very strong pain meds and am in constant pain still.  it is more manageable with the procedures and the meds than it was before.  Now i can do some laundry, cook dinner for my family and preform light duties around the house.  i have had to rely heavily on my son to vacuum and take out the trash and items like that cuz i cant lift more than 5 pounds and vacuuming flairs up my sciatic pain terribly.

i have lumbar facet athropy (arthritis of the spine), a 9 mm retoilisthesis of my SI joint, cervical spondylosis, bursitis on the outside of my thighs all the way to my knees caused by the arthritis in my back and the problem with my SI joint is making my hips put more pressure on the outside of my thighs and i will tell you that the bursitis is VERY PAINFUL!!  Oh on top of all that i have Fibromyalgia, which is diversified pain throughout my WHOLE BODY and it causes chronic head aches ( have had a headache for 5 years solid).  The meds i take do not take the pain away by any means, and i don’t even get “high” off them i have been on the same dosage for a very long time.  i am completely freaked out that a doctor would look at my history and not do anything to help me.  i really hope this is not the case, because i have a 15 year old that i want to see graduate from high school and college but i will tell you that i WILL NOT LIVE MY LIFE IN CHRONIC PAIN without relief…  when i left Cali i got my meds to hold me over till i got my medicaid and medicare taken care of and it takes 45 days and i am running out of meds..  i made a phone call to one of the adult clinics to find out if they could help me untill my insurances are fixed, the office manager told me that i am going to have a hard time getting my meds in Texas.  she said that the drs would not care that i have a 4 year history with the same dr and hand carry my notes to them along with my pharmacutical history.
i have a point to all this does anyone here have any suggestions for me.  i cannot afford to buy drugs off the street and i cannot fly back to Cali every month.

SOS.  Please Help me. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Again it is Not the drs.most do understand what we r going through.i have been through over 4drs.its the dea &governors; who r doing it.then u r labled doctor shopping if u loik for another dr.law says Pharmacy can only fill 4hydrocodones.u have to go on pain patch or morphine which does not help me. Please listen. Its not the dr.its dea &governor;.

I’ve had fibromalga for 10 years now my doctor took me off all pain meds 5 months ago I am suffering been to 3 doctors since no one will put me back on pain medication I live in revere mass if anyone knows of a doctor please let me know can’t live in this pain much longer

Have u been given hydrocodone,zanx&somas; on same script by same dr? If so u r on a list where no dr wants to treat u.if not ask pharmacist where u filled previos scripts.they will tell u names of dr.good lick.ill pray for u

Barbara i feel 4u.have u gotten hydrocodone,zanex&somas; on same script.if so u r on a list.it will b hard to find dr.if not ask your Pharmacy where u fill ur scripts.they r best bet to finding dr.good luck.

Christy u didnt say what state in tx u movd to.one Pharmacy n houston(3)of them Recept Pharmacy will give u names of pain dr.they deliver too.hope this helps good luck.

Everyone says we should band together &do; something.what &how;?im sure we will all join forces if told what to do.i wrote gov of tx. Rick perry.never word back.sent letter where he had to sighn for it.some lawyer or lawyers out there willing to fight gov for us?

How would u feel if your own kid tells u u r a bany &u need to take less med to make it last longer,i only get 4/10-325 norcos a day ∈ severe pain.i should get used to the pain.

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