Finally, at least in Massachusetts, there are signs of push-back against all the inane and arbitrary opioid restrictions.
Senate Bill 546 calls for providers to “administer care sufficient to treat a patient’s chronic pain based on ongoing, objective evaluations of the patient without fear of reprimand or discipline.”
It also states that patient care and prescribing of medication, including opioid painkillers, should not be dictated by “pre-determined” guidelines.
This kind of logical reasoning is far too rare these days, but I take it as a hopeful sign that some folks are starting to wake up to the facts – facts that have been successfully buried by all the media-hype based on endlessly repeated PROPaganda.
Chronic pain patients say… the drug epidemic involves illegal street drugs, not the prescription medications they depend on.
It’s not just patients who say this; data from the CDC itself show this.
At issue are federal and state prescribing guidelines adopted in recent years in response to the ongoing drug epidemic that has ravaged New Hampshire and other states.
Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, said he sponsored SB546 at the request of a friend who suffers from a chronic pain syndrome. “She said you can’t get a doctor to prescribe enough painkillers,” he said.
This proves my point that only personal experience can make a person understand chronic pain. When our opioids are cut off our friends and loved ones suffer too because they experience our subsequent misery.
“This is an effort to specifically tell the doctors to take care of their pain patients,” Reagan said
Some patient advocates blame the CDC itself for their troubles, after the agency issued guidelines in 2016 that recommended limits on how opioid painkillers are prescribed.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services subsequently adopted new rules for prescribing such drugs, and that’s when patients in New Hampshire and elsewhere say their doctors started cutting them off their medications.
Despite the CDC’s efforts last year to clarify its guidance, Reagan said, “The doctors and the pharmacists are terrified of the government because they can take their livelihood away.”
“That’s what scared all the doctors off of prescribing,” he said. “And the patients suffered.”
But Sherman, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said he’s heard from a number of doctors “who previously would not have had any problem prescribing opioids and now they’re really gun-shy about it.”
The purpose of the state rules, he said, “was never to make it impossible for somebody to get the appropriate medicine to treat their chronic pain.”
“The goal was to make sure that every time somebody wrote a prescription that it was appropriate, and that the precautions were in place so that somebody who really was at high risk of addiction wasn’t just prescribed these willy-nilly, without any thought being given with it.”
Sherman said it may be time to re-write the state guidelines, “to be sure number
- one, that patients are getting the medications they really need and
- two, that providers are feeling that they can go ahead and prescribe without being under threat of some kind of reprimand as long as they’re doing their due diligence.”
This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m thrilled to see even the slightest bit of resistance to the absurd new prohibition rules that affect our medical care.