Tag Archives: anti-opioid-law

Minnesota bill allowing opioids for intractable pain

A bill for an act relating to health; changing intractable pain provisions; amending Minnesota Statues 2018 

I’m thrilled to see that one of the states that legislated some of the earliest and most extreme anti-opioid rules is now realizing that intractable chronic pain sometimes *does* require opioid medication indefinitely.

Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 152.125, is amended to read: 152.125 INTRACTABLE PAIN.

Subdivision 1. Definition.

For purposes of this section, “intractable pain” means a pain state, that includes but is not limited to noncancer pain and rare diseases, in which the cause or causes of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and in which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts.   Continue reading

Life (Plus a great deal of Pain) after Opioids

Life after opioids: ‘I went home and cried for a long time. I felt really stupid’ | Australia news | The Guardianby Celina Ribeiro – Feb 2020

Ms. Ribeiro has written an excellent two-part article on our plight:

For people managing chronic pain, the push to reduce opioid prescription has left them feeling lost and unsupported.

…and with untreated, extreme, and suicide-inducing pain.

Louisa O’Neil inhales deeply when she is asked about her history of pain. Then, dispassionately, like recalling a string of part-time jobs, she lists the history of surgeries, injuries, accidents and conditions that have rendered her in a near permanent state of pain for the past 16 years.   Continue reading

Inaccurate Opioid Information Used by Lawmakers

Damaging State Legislation Regarding Opioids: The Need To Scrutinize Sources Of Inaccurate Information Provided To Lawmakers – free full-text /PMC6857667/Michael E Schatman and Hannah Shapiro2019 Nov

On January 22, 2019, a Massachusetts State Representative introduced House Bill 3656, “An Act requiring practitioners to be held responsible for patient opioid addiction”.

Section 50 of this proposed legislation reads, “A practitioner, who issues a prescription … which contains an opiate, shall be liable to the patientfor the payment of the first 90 days of in-patient hospitalization costs if the patient becomes addicted and is subsequently hospitalized”.

When asked of the source of medical information on which he based his bill, the Representative mentioned the name of a nationally known addiction psychiatrist.

Though unmentioned, this is clearly referring to our nemesis, Mr. Kolodny, who has continued using cherry-picked data from years ago to make his claims that “opioids cause addiction”.  Continue reading

Inaccurate Information Provided To Lawmakers

Damaging State Legislation Regarding Opioids: The Need To Scrutinize Sources Of Inaccurate Information Provided To Lawmakers – free full-text /PMC6857667/Nov 2019

Lawmakers are making laws on the basis of inaccurate information provided by persons without expertise in chronic pain management.

The whole country is awash in PROPaganda spread by those who do not understand, much less experience themselves, the extreme physical limitations, subsequent mood disorders, negative social impact, and unnecessary suffering caused by constant unrelieved pain.

On January 22, 2019, a Massachusetts State Representative introduced House Bill 3656, “An Act requiring practitioners to be held responsible for patient opioid addiction”.    Continue reading

Opioid Prescribing and Physician Autonomy

Opioid Prescribing and Physician Autonomy: A Quality of Care Perspective  free full-text /PMC6384205/ Feb 2019

As one article published in American Family Physician in 2000 stated: “Despite recent advances in the understanding of pain management, patients continue to suffer needlessly, primarily because of improper management and inadequate pain medication”

This article evaluates the effectiveness of recent legislative mandates and restrictions on opioid prescribing and proposes alternative frameworks for combatting and preventing harms caused by the misuse of prescribed opioids.   Continue reading

Outcomes of Opioid Misuse Prevention Policies

The Association of State Opioid Misuse Prevention Policies With Patient- and Provider-Related Outcomes: A Scoping Review – Dec 2019

Policy Points:

  • This scoping review reveals a growing literature on the effects of certain state opioid misuse prevention policies, but persistent gaps in evidence on other prevalent state policies remain.
  • [I had to skip the 2nd “policy point” because it was so absurd, again urging restrictions on prescribed opioids, which are NOT the problem]
  • Further research should concentrate on potential unintended consequences of opioid misuse prevention policies, differential policy effects across populations, interventions that have not received sufficient evaluation (eg, Good Samaritan laws, naloxone access laws), and patient-related outcomes.

Continue reading

Market barriers to appropriate pain management

AMA: Get rid of market barriers to appropriate pain management by Andis Robeznieks – Senior News Writer – American Medical Association

This article makes a critical point and describes what should be the goal when treating pain: “appropriate analgesic prescribing and pain management.”  

Ending the nation’s opioid epidemic requires eliminating obstacles to treatment and appropriate analgesic prescribing and pain management.

New policies adopted at the 2019 AMA Annual Meeting took aim at barriers established by health plans and other players in the medical system.  Continue reading

The Pre-Modern Approach to Pain Treatment

The March Toward a Pre-Modern Approach to the Treatment of Pain Continues, Undeterred by Science By Jeffrey A. SingerAug 2019

It seems that no amount of data-driven information can get policymakers to reconsider the hysteria-driven pain prescription policies they continue to put in place.

For all human beings, data is far less stimulating than hysteria. That’s why movements, like the anti-opioid zealotry, use scare tactics to motivate and mobilize the populace.

I can understand lay politicians and members of the press misconstruing addiction and dependency, but there is no excuse when doctors make that error.

I used to believe that doctors knew far more about my body and its functions than I did, but what I’ve seen during this “opioid” crisis has disabused me of that quaint notion.  Continue reading

Patients left in anguish by doctors ‘terrified’ of addiction

Pain patients left in anguish by doctors ‘terrified’ of opioid addiction, despite CDC change – Ken Alltucker and Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY – June 2019

I’m encouraged to see this article in such a mainstream publication where it will be seen by more than just patients and their doctors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines in 2016 to cut back prescriptions after years of liberal opioid dispensing contributed to addiction and overdose deaths. 

Those guidelines influenced more than doctors: State regulators, health insurers and even disability administrators have cited the federal guidelines to justify policies that limit pain pill prescriptions.  Continue reading

More Reasons For Opioid Policy to Shift

Data From Germany Provide More Reasons For Policy to Shift From Prescription Pills to Harm Reduction – Cato.org – By Jeffrey A. SingerAug 2019

In February of this year, I co-authored a paper in the Journal of Pain Research explaining why there is no correlation between the amount of opioids prescribed and the incidence of non-medical use or prescription pain-reliever use disorder.

See my post on this paper: Non-medical opioid users were not pain patients

Now researchers in Germany have provided more evidence to pour cold water on the idea of any relationship between the volume of opioid prescribing and the incidence of opioid use disorder.   Continue reading