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Prince death highlights lax discipline of Minnesota overprescribing

Photo by Matt Hilger

The home state of late pop music icon Prince has had serious issues with properly disciplining physicians who overprescribe narcotics, according to a June 2 article and study published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 In the past four years, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice disciplined 25 doctors for improper prescribing of narcotics. Six of seven nearby states have double that rate of discipline for improper prescribing.

According to the CDC, 2014 saw a record 47,055 deaths due to drug overdose. Over half of those deaths involved opioids, heroin, or both.

Prince had high levels of the prescription drug Fentanyl in his system at the time of his death, a substance that is 50 times more potent than heroin.

Yet, most doctors, if disciplined at all for excessively or recklessly prescribing potentially deadly narcotics to patients, are given temporary suspensions, says the Post-Gazette study.

Read more here.