Just the thought of this makes my stomach lurch.
Politicians, bureaucrats, and financial interests are determined to control how much pain we must suffer by restricting access to the most effective relief.
Various industries which stand to gain from opioid restrictions (addiction-rehab, pharmaceutical, medical device, drug-testing) are colluding with political powers to pass legislation restricting opioid dosages to arbitrary limits.
Investigations of abuse or inappropriate prescribing would be shared with insurers enrolled in the giant Medicare/Medicaid system, even if the allegations are never proven.
CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) contracts with dozens of private insurance companies to provide health insurance to about 54 million Americans through Medicare and nearly 70 million in Medicaid.
“The results of these projects are provided to plan sponsors so that additional actions can be taken, including
- initiating new investigations,
- conducting audits, or
- terminating physicians and pharmacies from their network.”
“Pharmacists are going to be even more paranoid than they already are,” Martin wrote in an email.
“Retail pharmacists don’t have time for this. They aren’t the police. Nevada has a PDMP. It already shows a significant decrease in prescribing patterns over the last several years, so it is working.
With the CMS, just who decides what are appropriate quantities and proper prescribing habits?”
The CDC insists it knows what the appropriate doses are for every single pain patient in America.
CMS Using CDC’s Prescribing Guidelines
In developing its strategy, CMS is relying heavily on prescribing guidelines released in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which discourage doctors from prescribing opioids for chronic pain
CMS says it will use the “evidence-based guidelines” to determine what constitutes inappropriate prescribing.
But they are NOT evidence-based. These guidelines have proven to be
- scientifically wrong,
- based on obviously cherry-picked data, and
- promoting questionable treatments backed by slim scientific evidence.
They were instigated and promoted by a group of “addictionologists” without pain management experience or consideration. Several scientists have already picked them apart and found glaring errors:
- CDC Manipulated Data to Deceive
- CDC Guidelines Refuted with Scientific Evidence
- The Changing Opioid Epidemic: Not from Rx
The guidelines include a recommendation that opioids be limited to no more than 90 mg of morphine equivalent milligrams a day, a dose that many patients in severe chronic pain consider inadequate.
The CDC maintains the guidelines are “voluntary” and intended only for primary care physicians.
However, when more and more government and insurance organizations use them as an overall rule for all patients, the CDC is making no effort to prevent the misguided adoption of their guidelines as iron-clad rules for all patients at all times.
However, under the CMS strategy, the guidelines would apply to all prescribers, except those treating cancer or patients in palliative care.
“I just hate to see something that CDC itself said was voluntary, was a recommendation, and really isn’t all that specific if you really read it, get turned into something that creates bright red lines. And if you step across the line, you’re going to get yourself in trouble. I don’t think that’s right,” said Bob Twillman, PhD, Executive Director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, the nation’s largest pain management organization.
CMS says the additional scrutiny of doctors and patients is needed because “the Medicare population has among the highest and fastest-growing rates of diagnosed opioid use disorder,”
Because “opioid use disorder” can be diagnosed in anyone taking opioids for more than 3 months and most people experience increasing pain as they get older, finding this “disorder” among older people this is exactly what you would expect.
It looks like they are creating a disorder that serves two purposes:
- Generate more clients for addiction recovery clinics (with a 90% failure rate)
- Generate the need for more expensive drugs for pain (with unknown long-term effects)
It serves everyone in the medical supply chain except the “end user: the patient.