Exclusive: Opioid supply crunch for U.S. coronavirus patients prompts appeal to relax limits – Reuters – Dan Levine – April 2, 2020
U.S. doctors running out of narcotics needed for COVID-19 patients on ventilators are asking the federal government to raise production limits for drugmakers, according to a letter seen by Reuters, after national quotas had been tightened to address the opioid addiction crisis.
It’s becoming ever more clear that the DEA has become an unacceptable impediment to healthcare delivery. They have no business regulating the practice of medicine when their purpose is the enforcement of the latest prohibition against an essential medicine.
The U.S. government sets annual limits on how much tightly regulated narcotics can be produced by pharmaceutical companies, and then allocates portions to various manufacturers. Continue reading
Is the DEA Branching Out Into Regulating Medicine? | Cato @ Liberty – By Jeffrey A. Singer – Sep 2019
This truly seems to be happening. Until now, the “practice of medicine” was carefully defined and defended by the AMA and anybody who tried to step between doctors and their patients was hauled into court.
This time around, the AMA has been noticeable mainly by their silence in the face of this assault on the integrity of medicine, when politicians and law enforcement agencies are controlling what kind of medical care doctors are “allowed” to provide their patients.
After a few brave individual doctors had been pushing back for years, and when the CDC and FDA were close to issuing their own statements warning against the abandonment and forced tapers imposed on patients, only then did the AMA finally release its own statement advising against such barbaric (and virtually illegal, in the case of patient abandonment) practices. Continue reading
Prescription Opioid Diversion & Abuse – a powerpoint presentation by John J. Coleman, PhD, DEA Assistant Administrator for Operations – Mar 2016
This is an interesting glimpse into how the DEA sees the “opioid crisis” as arising from diversion of medication prescribed to pain patients, instead of being fueled by the massive thefts from the supply chain.
The workers handling all those pills aren’t as monitored and scrutinized nearly as carefully as individual patients, who have to submit to random pill counts.
Drug Diversion: How It’s Done…
Doctor Shoppers (casual & pro): Probably account for more diversion than estimated
No: PDMP’s have shown there are fewer “doctor shoppers” than expected.
The DEA expects opioid supply-chain wholesalers to report “suspicious” orders without the necessary information which is collected, but not shared, by the DEA itself. Below is a statement given by an opioid wholesaler to the House of Represenatives in May 2018 that explains the problem:
“WRITTEN STATEMENT OF JAMES CHRISTOPHER SMITH FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, H.D.SMITH LLC BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PRESENTED MAY 8, 2018″
H.D.Smith was only one part of a complex supply chain, and we could not see all the information up and down the chain that could flag a potential problem. Continue reading
Illegal drug classifications are based on politics not science – report | Global development | The Guardian –Karen McVeigh – @karenmcveigh – Jun 2019
Illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis should be reclassified to reflect a scientific assessment of harm, according to a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy
The commission, which includes 14 former heads of states from countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and New Zealand, said the international classification system underpinning drug control is “biased and inconsistent”.
A “deep-lying imbalance” between controlling substances and allowing access for medicinal purposes had caused “collateral damage”, it said. Continue reading
The Opioid Crisis Is About More Than Corporate Greed – By Zachary Siegel – Jul 2019
Nearly every step of the pharmaceutical supply chain is implicated in the soaring death rate.
But the companies claim to have been acting legally and in compliance with federal regulators like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Was it all, technically, legal?
Of course, it was legal; pharmaceutical companies are enjoying their legal scheme of profiteering and wouldn’t do anything to endanger that privilege.
Opinion | Fear, Loathing and Fentanyl Exposure – https://www.nytimes.com/ By The Editorial Board – April 4, 2019
The New York Times has published many articles about the “opioid crisis” that follow the usual unchecked assumptions around opioids, so I’m glad this opinion piece by the “top guns” of the Times finally explains the problems posed by fentanyl: it’s super potent, but not by accidental skin exposure or “breathing fumes”.
As baseless public health scares go, the one about police officers and nurses purportedly overdosing from passive fentanyl exposure should have been easy to dispel.
Emergency workers across the country have reported dozens of such incidents in recent years, but their symptoms are often inconsistent with opioid poisoning. Continue reading
Clinical Drug Diversion Costly to Health Care Organizations – Clinical Pain Advisor – Mar 2019
U.S. health care organizations lost nearly $454 million due to clinical drug diversion in 2018, according to the 2019 Drug Diversion Digest, released by Protenus Inc.
This article is written from the viewpoint of “Practice Management”, which nowadays isn’t about “practicing medicine” but about how to make money from it. These folks measure opioids by money gained/lost.
THE DEA always brags about how many pills/doses of opioids they confiscate in their raids, but here opioids aren’t counted by the pill of the MME, but by the mighty dollar. Continue reading
Harris, Senators Press HHS About Public Health Impact of “Fentanyl-Related” Scheduling | U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California– July 10, 2019
Several U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar regarding their concerns about the proposed new fentanyl scheduling (restrictions).
We are concerned that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have not adequately consulted with public health agencies in connection with the DEA/DOJ’s recent request that Congress legislatively place all “fentanyl-related” substances into Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Since we’ve allowed the DEA and DOJ to “practice medicine” by deciding what and how much of our medication we should use, it comes as no surprise that they now expect to rule on health issues without consulting medical experts. This would have been unthinkable when doctors and STate boards still controlled the practice of medicine. Continue reading
One of us was a pain patient saved by opioids, the other was addicted to them. We both deserve a solution – Los Angeles Times – By Ryan Hampton and Kate M. Nicholson – Apr 2019
This is an excellent article in a popular mainstream publication written by two people on the opposite ends of the “opioid crisis”. They point out that a common solution is needed, not one at the expense of the other, as has been done in the past.
Opioids have figured prominently in both our lives.
- For Kate, they were a lifeline after a surgical mishap left her unable to sit, stand or walk for more than a decade.
- For Ryan, they were a gateway to a dark decade of heroin addiction.
many Americans believe that we have over-treated pain at the expense of those who became addicted to prescription opioids. Continue reading