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Epidemic of addiction? Young doctor sounds the alarm

Epidemic of addiction? Young doctor sounds the alarm

Image source: © TikTok
Marta Grzeszczuk,
24.01.2024 12:30

Jakub Kosikowski, M.D. is warning that online prescription providers are making it too easy to obtain addicting drugs. He is calling on the Health Ministry to regulate this.

M.D. Jakub Kosikowski is a resident in clinical oncology and a spokesperson for the Supreme Medical Chamber in Poland. He frequently shares informative content related to healthcare in Poland on his X profile. Additionally, he runs a TikTok profile with the username @OnkologiaNaCito, where he provides practical guidance for cancer patients in Poland.

Medical Chamber spokesman raises alarm over e-prescriptions

On January 23, Kosikowski warned his followers about the growing popularity of e-prescriptions, which are being used more and more frequently and willingly. He wrote: "One pharmacy chain has even opened a prescription printing machine. With a subtle placement of tramadol. And what? No reaction from the government." The resident raises his concerns to the Health Ministry, tagging it in his post: "This is the last moment to regulate this market; fentanyl dispensers will be next."

Tramadol is a synthetic opioid used as a pain-relieving medicine, usually after surgery or serious injury. However, opioids like Tramadol can be addictive if not used properly, leading to physical and psychological dependence. In the US, the widespread use of fentanyl, another opioid painkiller, has resulted in a catastrophic addiction epidemic.

Online prescribers are businesses that facilitate access to prescription drugs. While licensed doctors write prescriptions, the decision to issue them is often based merely on a filled form, an online questionnaire, or a brief phone consultation.

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One of the commenters under Kosikowski's post asked if the Supreme Medical Chamber and disciplinary ombudsmen could be more active within the existing regulations. In response, the spokesman stated that proceedings are being initiated, but it would take years to catch everyone without a ban on online prescribers issued by the Ministry of Health.

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