Local veteran says he’s being denied the medication he needs

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Iowa doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners will soon have to take extra precautionary measures before prescribing opioids to patients. 

The bill is meant to make it harder for doctors to prescribe pain killers, but not to stop the patients from getting the help they need. However, Sioux City veteran Marlin Sturgen, who relies on opioids to ease his various medical conditions, says the government doesn’t know what it’s like to live in constant pain. 

“Well my nurse says between one and ten what is your pain and I have to say ten, but between me and god, I could sit here and scream, but I don’t. It’s a twenty,” said Sturgen.

Marlin Sturgen says he can barely stand up from his chair and has been relying on prescription pain pills for years now to help ease his suffering from three major surgery’s, two hernias and multiple adhesions, but recently, his doctors have cut him off from over half of his usual dosage.

“The government is messing with the oxycodone, morphine and all that. So bad that in the future we don’t know if they’re going to be out there at all they’re cutting them down so bad,” said Sturgen.

A new Iowa bill moving fast through legislature, will soon make it harder for doctors to prescribe pain medication.

“I think the bill will decrease forgeries and fake prescriptions and alterations that some patients might do to their prescriptions, but I don’t necessarily think it will be harder to get a prescription for a legitimate pain need,” said pharmacist Abby Banks.

But Sturgen disagrees, saying “They’re even taking Iraq soldiers who got wounded and messing with their pain pills and it’s just not right.”

The bill is designed to cut down on “doctor shopping” in which patients seek prescriptions from multiple clinics, which local pharmacist, Abby Banks says is a legitimate problem here in Sioux City 

“We do see patients using there primary doctors, using urgent cares, using the ERs to try and obtain these prescriptions,” said Banks. 

After passing unanimously in the senate, the bill will now be sent to the house, before heading to Governor Reynolds 

“I’d love to go to Washington and tell them, Leave me alone, I didn’t do nothing wrong,” said Sturgen.

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