The epidemic of opioid-related deaths sweeping the country has lawmakers and regulators in Washington, D.C., and state capitals scrambling for answers. And while doctors generally welcome the attention to the crisis, many also fear that the solutions being proposed and enacted will do more harm than good.
The concern among physicians and public health and pain management experts is that laws and regulations designed to limit use of prescription narcotics, however well-intentioned, are yet another constraint on doctors’ ability to treat patients as they think best. Continue reading
DEA Revises Opioid-Quota Rules, Leaving Out Requested Change by Kerry Dooley Young – July 13, 2018
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will update its established procedures for setting production quotas for addictive drugs without heeding a recommendation from medical groups regarding shortages of injectable opioids.
The DEA on July 11 announced its final decision on changes to its regulations regarding aggregate production quotas (APQs), which it said were initially issued in 1971.
When a policy is close to 50 years old, it shouldn’t be revised or changed as much as thrown out entirely. So much more is known about medications and drugs in general than 50 years ago, it’s ludicrous that such old policies are still used at all. Continue reading
Gov’t Move to Stop Opioid Abuse Backfires in Horrifying Way… Hell on Earth – By Ben Marquis – April 23, 2018
There has been much discussion in recent years about the crisis of opioid abuse, and while there is broad agreement that “something must be done,” there are innocent victims of a crackdown on opioid drugs that often go unnoticed.
According to the Cato Institute, those overlooked victims are hospitalized patients recovering from accidents or surgeries who are in serious pain, but are unable to receive necessary doses of powerful painkillers to ease their suffering. Continue reading
On marijuana and opioids — the DEA has no clue what it’s talking about | TheHill – By Paul Armentano — 05/14/18
Is state-level medical cannabis access mitigating or fueling America’s opioid crisis? Testifying before Congress last week, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) acting administrator Robert Patterson claimed the latter.
But when he prompted to provide evidence in support of the agency’s position, he acknowledged that he could not.
The DEA has never had to provide evidence for anything, not of drugs’ supposed power to addict nor for the effectiveness of law enforcement controlling medical care (whether addiction or pain). Why start now? Continue reading
FDA finds errors in its opioid sales data, calls for quality review – by Meg Tirrell | @megtirrell – May 16, 2018
The Food and Drug Administration says it’s found mistakes in opioid sales data provided by industry researcher Iqvia that led to an overestimation of the amount of prescription fentanyl being used in the U.S
This means that they assumed more of the fentanyl found on the streets and involved in overdoses was from prescriptions when instead it was illicit.
Because the larger number fed into the prevailing narrative that prescription opioids are fueling the “opioid crisis”, these numbers weren’t questioned closely. Continue reading
The problem is that we are NOT addressing the opioid crisis – we’re addressing opioid pain treatment, not opioid addiction.
Lawmakers are grappling with how to solve the opioid epidemic — and it’s not simple.
The push for fewer opioid prescriptions at lower doses and for shorter periods has increased suffering for some pain patients including those near the end of life. The emphasis on opioids has also overshadowed other forms of substance abuse that require attention. Continue reading
Here is another article in support of yesterday’s post: DEA Draws Firestorm of Criticism for New Quotas
With pressure building on the the Drug Enforcement Administration to stem the supply of prescription drugs, a new proposal aims to empower the agency to more aggressively limit manufacturing levels and to put hundreds of drug makers on notice. It’s not yet clear whether the proposal will achieve either goal.
This is a policy that’s completely out of step with reality – overdoses moved on from prescription opioids to illicit opioids (often laced with fentanyl). Continue reading
Opinion: The DEA Draws a Firestorm of Criticism – April 18, 2018 – by Richard A Lawhern, Ph.D.
DEA has proposed rule changes which will allow them to force reductions on production of opioid pain relievers for any scheduled drug which they believe to be “diverted.”
They seem utterly uncaring that quotas have already been reduced for the past five years without noticeable positive effect.
This is typical of the drug-war: when a policy is not showing positive results, instead of trying something different, they double-down on the ineffective policy. Continue reading
DEA Wants to Target Drug Manufacturers in Opioid Supply – April 21, 2018 – By Ed Coghlan
The Drug Enforcement Administration wants to be able to give companies quotas for the controlled substances that they produce.
Wait a minute… I thought the DEA was supposed to go after the illicit fentanyl drugs that are killing so many Americans. They sure aren’t going to find illicit fentanyl in the medications these companies manufacture for medical use.
I can’t help but think that only cowardice can explain why the DEA isn’t going after the drug cartels selling those deadly street drugs: have you seen pictures of the insanely powerful weapons these drug lords have? Continue reading
Proponents argue that limits reduce the risk of addiction, but are they keeping pharmacists from caring for their patients?
As the opioid crisis worsens, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and legislators are scrambling to help solve the problem. Recently, those efforts have focused on limiting opioid supplies.
But in the effort to prevent unnecessary medications, are pain patients getting left behind? Continue reading