Tag Archives: doctor-advocates

The demise of medicine when profit reigns supreme

The demise of medicine: A neurologist advocates for patients and is silenced – by Virginia Thornley, MD – Aug 2018

Our doctors have it almost as bad as we do, as more and more small practices are being bought up by huge corporations (with the moral imperative to make a profit).

Now they are only employees valued for their RVUs (Relative value units (RVUs) are a measure of value used in the United States Medicare reimbursement formula for physician services).

Physicians are overwhelmed by

  • patient loads, 
  • 10-minute visits,
  • the wealth of documentation dictated by health insurance requirements and
  • the overwhelming overtaking of medicine by non-physician personnel.

As medicine changed from patient to profit-centered, it marked the beginning of the end. Continue reading

CDC Guideline Protest Letter Signatories


Health Professionals Call on the CDC to Address Misapplication of its Guideline on Opioids for Chronic Pain through Public Clarification and Impact Evaluation

Individuals wishing to register their solidarity with this effort, who are not health professionals, should sign on this page.

This document has 129 pages of signatories and their comments. I tried to clean it up a little, but I had to stop part way because it’s just too long. I’ve posted it here just in case the original Google Doc disappears.

You may enjoy, like I did, finding out how many medical professionals are protesting and how many pain patients are scattered all across America suffering from their individual burdens of pain.  Continue reading

Press Release from Doctors Protesting CDC Guideline

Press Release from HP3: Health Professionals for Patients in Pain – Mar 2019

I posted some of this last year after 5 doctors had written this letter, but now it’s been expanded and has hundreds of signatories, including medical professionals from various aspects of healthcare.

It was announced in a press release Mar 2019, but deserves new attention in light of the HHS Task Force report:

Three former US “drug czars” and over 300 US health professionals call on CDC officials to correct misapplication of its guideline on opioid prescribing.   Continue reading

Raising Alarm on Oregon Force-Tapering Opioids

Pain and Addiction Leaders Raise Alarm on Oregon Force Tapering Opioid Proposal – by Sean Mackey, MD, PhDMar 2019

On Mar 14th, the Oregon HERC Task Force was going to vote to make a rule for Medicaid requiring all opioids to be tapered to zero except in a few very narrowly defined cases.

At the last minute on the morning of the vote, HERC said they were postponing the vote due to a conflict of interest they had “just learned about”. That’s a pretty flimsy excuse because the membership and the whole process of this group have been driven by conflicts of interest (of the alternative medicine community) and a vast ignorance of medicine, pharmacology, and reality.

The extreme nature of this proposal has reached a level of such preposterous cruelty that protest by medical professionals is now required to preserve some limits on the government’s practice of medicine.

…it became clear that there are times when people of good conscience cannot blindly allow bad policies to move forward unchallenged.    –Sean Mackey, MD, PhD

Continue reading

Since when does the government write prescriptions?

Opioid crisis — Since when does the government write prescriptions?By Dr. Henry I. Miller, Josh Bloom | Fox NewsMar 2019

federal and state agencies are focusing on the wrong target – legitimate prescribing of opioids – and have insinuated themselves into the doctor-patient relationship as never before.

Our governments are taking prescription pads out of the hands of physicians and dictating which, and how much, prescription pain medication may be prescribed for patients. This is chilling and unprecedented.

And nationwide, millions of pain patients, even those who were functioning well with long-term opioid therapy, are being forcibly tapered or having their medicines stopped outright, regardless of their wishes or those of their physicians.   Continue reading

Anger is Destructive when Expressed on Social Media

Below is a Twitter stream regarding the expression of anger and its consequences. Two of our best advocates are warning that “letting it all hang out” on social media may be counter productive.

Kate Nicholson – @speakingabtpain – Mar 2019

More people in #pain who are being tapered down or off of medication are reaching out & speaking of suicide.

I am sympathetic to the difficulty of losing access to pain medicine, but I am not a mental health professional. Some helpful thoughts from @StefanKertesz follow:   Continue reading

When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

Opinion | When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease – New York Times – By Maia Szalavitz – Feb 2019

This opinion article is significant because it was published in the New York Times which has a *global audience*:

By working to reduce prescribing, government regulators, insurers, law enforcement officials, legislators and other policymakers have ignored the genuine dangers of leaving people in agony, including suicide and increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.

…while medical opioid use has fallen by nearly one-third since peaking around 2011 — and deaths associated with prescription opioids have stabilized — overall opioid overdose fatalities have recently hit a high as more potent, illegally manufactured opioids hit the streets.   Continue reading

Patient-Centered Care for Chronic Pain

My Take on the Biopsychosocial Model of Patient-Centered Care | Pain Medicine | Oxford Academic – Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD, FIPP – September 2018

I am privileged to participate in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pain Management Inter-Agency Task Force (PMTF) and in the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the US Opioid Epidemic.

Promoting patient-centered care is what I believe to be the most important mission of our profession.

And patient-centered care should be the guiding principle of policy-making by federal and state agencies, health care payers, and professional organizations and societies.   Continue reading

The civil war over prescription opioids

The civil war over prescription opioids – by Lynn Webster, MD – Dec 2018

The war is between science and fact versus PROPaganda and media hype.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, attitudes towards opioid use for pain have shifted dramatically. In the 1990s and early 2000s, pain relief was front and center on the newsstands and in medical literature.

During that time, compassion for people in pain increased and permeated our culture and opioids became standard therapy for chronic pain, because few affordable and effective treatment alternatives existed.  Continue reading

Dr. Darnall now supports necessary use of opioids

National Spotlight: Congressional Briefing, and Advocacy for Patient-Centered Research and Pain CareBeth Darnall, PhD – Oct 2018

This is significant because Dr. Darnall was the main proponent of the “catastrophizing is causing your pain” movement. This idea is exactly what the anti-opioid zealots needed to blame patients for their own pain.

This idea became so widespread that most of the public, and even far too many doctors, believed that changing patients’ “bad attitude” was the only treatment necessary for pain management.

Though I think it took far longer than it should have, Dr. Darnall now seems to have realized that her studies were grossly misinterpreted (and outright weaponized) to prove the preposterous idea that opioids are not necessary to treat chronic pain.

To her great credit, she is now fighting against the very misconceptions that her previous work encouraged.   Continue reading