Hill CS Jr1.
There is overwhelming evidence that all types of pain, either of malignant or nonmalignant origin, are undertreated. This is especially true of patients whose pain can only be relieved by strong narcotics. The disciplinary section of the Texas Medical Practice Act (MPA) contains ambiguous language that makes determining proper standards for the use of narcotics difficult. To clarify this, the Intractable Pain Treatment Act (IPTA) allows the use of narcotics to treat intractable pain, without regard to the etiology of the pain, and clarifies narcotic use standards by defining intractable pain. The IPTA brings Texas law more into conformity with federal law, which clearly states that narcotics have a proper place in the treatment of intractable pain even if the etiology is not established. Reluctance to use narcotics for selected patients with nonmalignant painful medical conditions stems from the mistaken belief that they will become narcotic "addicts." Data from the medical literature do not support such a contention; in fact, just the opposite is supported.