Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Can Physicians Prescribe Opioids to Treat Pain Adequately While Avoiding Legal Sanction? – free full-text /PMC5494184/ – July 2017 – Am J Law Med.
Prescription opioids are an important tool for physicians in treating pain but also carry significant risks of harm when prescribed inappropriately or misused by patients or others.
Recent increases in opioid related morbidity and mortality has reignited scrutiny of prescribing practices by law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and state medical boards.
At the same time, the predominant 4D model of misprescribers is outdated and insufficient; it groups physician misprescribers as dated, duped, disabled, or dishonest. Continue reading
Gaslighting Means Misleading the Public to Push a Political Agenda – Dec 30, 2017 by
Burying information is one way to further a political agenda.
Limiting acceptable words and, as the National Review points out, choosing language specifically to distort the truth is another.
You might be far more willing to ingest a meat additive, for example, if detractors hadn’t labeled it as “pink slime.” Continue reading
When Good-Faith Medicine Raises ‘Red Flags’ – Reason.com – Jacob Sullum | November 22, 2017
Forest Tennant, who has been treating and researching pain at his clinic in West Covina, California, since 1975, is well-known as an expert in the field, having published more than 200 articles in medical journals and given more than 130 presentations at professional conferences.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), all of that was an elaborate cover for drug trafficking.
Without direct evidence, this is just an assumption made by the DEA. Such “wishful thinking” seems to be their criteria for prosecution. Continue reading
An Open Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee – National Pain Report – December 20, 201 – – By Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D
This is edited from a letter sent to 25 legislative assistants of sitting members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One week later, not one of them has responded to it.
Dear Senate Staffer: It is likely that the December 17th article in the Washington Posts will dominate much of the Monday (12/18/2017) news with respect to the DEA’s Division of Diversion Investigation, whose staff your Senator called to testify last week. The following points may be worth considering and talking about with your boss: Continue reading
The DEA Raided This Doctor’s Office for Prescribing High Doses of Painkillers – Tonic – by Maia Szalavitz – Dec 7 2017
One of the few remaining physicians willing to prescribe—and advocate for—high-dose opioids for certain patients with hard-to-treat chronic pain is now under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Tennant is accused of “profiting from the illicit diversion of controlled substances” and being part of a “drug trafficking organization.”
The case of California pain and addiction specialist Forest Tennant terrifies pain patients and their physicians, who fear that it could lead to de facto prohibition of opioid prescribing for chronic pain and even hamper end-of-life care. Continue reading
DEA Begins Targeting Off-Label Prescribing of TIRF Products – Pain Medicine News – Oct 2017 – Ronald W. Chapman II, Esq.
TIRF = Transmucosal Immediate-Release Fentanyl
Traditionally, the decision whether to prescribe a certain medication off-label or not is reserved for the independent judgment of the physician and the specific needs of the patient.
Off-label uses of prescription medication are not regulated by the FDA and may be employed as long as the prescription is within the standard of care and is prescribed in the usual course of professional practice and for a legitimate medical purpose.
Recently, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has initiated criminal and administrative action against physicians who prescribe opioids, such as transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF), off-label for the treatment of breakthrough pain. Continue reading
Misdiagnosing the Opioid Crisis | Cato Institute | By Jeffrey A. Singer | September 27, 2017
Here’s a doctor who truly understands that hounding doctors about opioid prescriptions is not only futile but harmful.
He outlines how outdated beliefs are driving our doomed and dangerous response to the “opioid overdose crisis”, pursuing policies that have been proven ineffective and even damaging.
Policymakers in Washington and in state capitals are misdiagnosing the opioid crisis as a doctor-patient problem.
Their policies are coming between doctors and patients. Continue reading
Promoting Pain Relief and Preventing Abuse of Pain Medications: A Critical Balancing Act – A joint statement from 21 health organizations and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In this PDF file from October 2016, I found surprisingly patient-centered statements endorsed by the DEA, like:
“For many patients, opioid analgesics… are the most effective way to treat their pain, and often the only treatment option that provides significant relief.”
…share a responsibility for ensuring that prescription pain medications are available to the patients who need them
However, I don’t see any indication the DEA is following its own “consensus statement”. Continue reading
The DEA Is to Blame for America’s Opioid Overdose Epidemic | Foundation for Economic Education by Cathy Reisenwitz December 05, 2016
A record-breaking 28,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2014.
The truth is that many of those deaths are completely preventable and result not from painkillers, but from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s war on painkillers.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that half of all troops who return from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from chronic pain.
Forcing Users into the Black Market
I would not assume that many patients are trying to find pain pills in the streets because many patients, like me, do not know where to get “street drugs”.
Why the DEA just said ‘no’ to loosening marijuana restrictions – The Washington Post
For the fourth consecutive time, the Drug Enforcement Administration has denied a petition to lessen federal restrictions on the use of marijuana.
While recreational marijuana use is legal in four states and D.C., and medical applications of the drug have been approved in many more, under federal law, it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means it’s considered to have “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.”
The gap between permissive state laws and a restrictive federal policy has become increasingly untenable in the minds of many doctors, patients, researchers, business owners and legislators. Continue reading