Tag Archives: CDC-Guidelines

PROP eases absolutist stance on opioid prohibition

Opioid Dose Tapering, Opioid Dependence, and Indications for Buprenorphine | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians – September 2019

This article is significant only because its authors are all founding members of PROP, the group that initiated, escalated, inflamed, and essentially fabricated the whole issue with prescribed opioid medication:

  • Roger Chou, MD;
  • Jane Ballantyne, MD;
  • Anna Lembke, MD.  

I’m delighted to see even a tiny crack in the seemingly invincible force of opioid prohibition.
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HHS Guidance for Dosage Reduction

HHS Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Opioid Analgesics – Oct 2019

I’m furious that throughout this detailed 8-page document, the assumption is always that tapers must happen, one way or another. I couldn’t find a single sentence suggesting it may be best to leave patients on some dose of opioids for their pain because, for most of us, opioids are the ONLY effective means of pain control.

More judicious opioid analgesic prescribing can benefit individual patients as well as public health when opioid analgesic use is limited to situations where benefits of opioids are likely to outweigh risks.

Yet they never again mention this case of the benefit being greater than risks, even though that’s the case for so many of us. Continue reading

Health Officials Urge Caution in Reducing Opioids

Health Officials Urge Caution in Reducing Opioids for Pain Patients – The New York TimesBy Abby Goodnough – Oct 2019

In a newly published guide, federal health officials say doctors “should never abandon” pain patients and warn of acute withdrawal and other risks.

The Trump administration on Thursday instructed doctors to use more caution when taking chronic pain patients off opioid medications, a response to reports that many have been cutting off prescriptions too quickly, in some cases even dismissing patients from their practice.

Question: Why did we have to wait 3 1/2 years for this?
Answer: because no one wanted to know the results.  Continue reading

How Did We Come to Abandon America’s Pain Patients?

How Did We Come to Abandon America’s Pain Patients? – Filter Magazine – Alison Knopf – July 2019

Overdoses—not those involving prescription opioids, but of heroin and illicit fentanyl, often combined with benzodiazepinescontinue to go up. But

And many physicians, caught in the middle, have stopped prescribing because they don’t want to get in trouble and possibly lose their livelihood.   Continue reading

Pain Awareness IS Suicide Prevention

Coincidentally, the month of September is “Pain Awareness Month” and its 2nd week is also “Suicide Prevention Week”.  I believe pain awareness *is* suicide prevention, so here is my yearly post about the unintended serendipity of these two awareness campaigns going on at the same time.

By now we have direct evidence that a lack of pain awareness, as demonstrated by all the politicians and healthcare “experts” enshrining the CDC “guideline” prescription opioid restrictions as law, is leading to suicides of patients with uncontrolled pain.

Can the connection become any more obvious?  Continue reading

Outcomes After Opioid Tapers: Time to Start Counting

Outcomes After Opioid Dose Reductions and Stoppage: It’s Time to Start Counting – Stefan G. Kertesz, MD, MSc – Aug 2019

As clinicians reconsidered the value of a muchoversold drug class [opioids], the institutions that govern, regulate, pay, and police health care pushed for reductions. 

The unanswered question[s] would be

  • how such reductions would be carried out,
  • who might measure the outcomes, and
  • whether those outcomes included benefits, harms, or both.

And into that chasm of deliberate blindness are falling the suicides of pain patients who cannot live with their pain untreated.
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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

Authors of the CDC guideline protest misapplication

The authors of the CDC’s opioid guidelines say they’ve been misapplied – By ANDREW JOSEPH @DrewQJoseph and ED SILVERMAN @Pharmalot – Apr 2019

The authors of influential federal guidelines for opioid prescriptions for chronic pain said Wednesday that doctors and others in the health care system had wrongly implemented their recommendations and cut off patients who should have received pain medication.

They said some health care players had used the guidelines to justify an “inflexible application of recommended dosage and duration thresholds and policies that encourage hard limits and abrupt tapering of drug dosages,” when the guidelines did not actually endorse those policies.

The new paper comes three years [of unrelieved agony and suicides] after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the prescribing guideline.   Continue reading

Ending DOJ’s Indiscriminate Raids

A More Sensible Surge: Ending DOJ’s Indiscriminate Raids of Healthcare Providers – by Michael C. Barnes DCBA Law & Policy, mbarnes@dcbalaw.com

This is a “Legislation & Policy Brief” I found that echoes what we’ve been trying to explain. This brief specifically mentions well-known doctors that have been prosecuted (and persecuted) by federal law enforcement for simply doing their jobs: treating their patients’ pain with opioids when nothing else gave relief.

Mr. Barnes understands and agrees with our position, urging that federal raids of doctors’ offices be halted.

He also points out that the overdose crisis is not about opioids specifically, that the deaths are from increasing numbers of people ingesting various combinations of illicit drugs.  Continue reading

Aligning Practice and Policy with Actual CDC Guideline

National Imperative to Align Practice and Policy with the Actual CDC Opioid Guideline – by Beth Darnall, PhD – July 23, 2019

Here’s another article by Dr. Darnall arguing against the rigid anti-opioid sentiment she previously seemed to support when she claimed that much of chronic pain was due to “catastrophizing”.

This year (2019) she has completely reversed course to push back against the fallout from her previous stance. I admire her courage in so publicly attacking the anti-opioid sentiment that was encouraged by her previous stance.

Although the national focus on opioid reduction preceded the CDC guideline [2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain], its issuance emboldened opioid reduction practices and policies in ways that its authors never intended.   Continue reading