Tag Archives: doctor-advocates

No Shortcuts to Safer Opioid Prescribing

No Shortcuts to Safer Opioid Prescribing – Deborah Dowell, M.D., M.P.H., Tamara Haegerich, Ph.D., and Roger Chou, M.D.

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in 2016,1 the medical and health policy communities have largely embraced its recommendations.

Although outpatient opioid prescribing had been declining since 2012, accelerated decreases — including in high-risk prescribing — followed the guideline’s release

Indeed, guideline uptake has been rapid…

…as the survivors of loved ones who fell victim to pain induced suicides after their effective pain relievers were taken away can attest.    Continue reading

True Victims of Opioid Crisis Starting to Rebel

The True Victims of the Opioid Crisis Are Starting to Rebel (after 3 years of silence) – Wired.com by Michelle Cohen Marill – May 2019

I find this word choice curious, “starting to rebel” when we’ve been screaming bloody murder for three years.

Twenty years ago, easing pain was the mission and opioids were the method.

Yes, because they worked. Everyone seems to forget that.

Pain became known as “the fifth vital sign,” as important as blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, and hospitals and clinics routinely asked patients to rate their pain.

And now, just asking about pain and treating it is suspected to be “peddling heroin pills”.  Continue reading

Aftermath of the CDC Guideline

Three Years Down the Road: The Aftermath of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic PainJoseph V. PergolizziJr., Melanie Rosenblatt, Jo Ann LeQuang – April 2019

In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta prepared a far-reaching guideline aimed at helping primary care physicians (PCP) better treat chronic pain.

However, rates of prescribing were starting to decrease markedly years before the CDC guideline was published.

Although the guideline was written for primary care physicians (PCPs) and framed in the context of PCPs managing patients with chronic noncancer pain, the gravitas of the document and its issuing agency gave considerable weight to its principles. Continue reading

List of Peer Reviewed Articles on Pain/Opioids

Peer-reviewed articles (2006-2019) on Pain/Opioids by Stefan Kertesz  (Twitter: @StefanKertesz)  June 2019

This is a collection of 26 scientifically correct (not anti-opioid) information that can be used as references to rebut the anti-opioid propaganda. Dr. Kertesz has been a powerful and respected advocate for us for many years and seems to be publishing voluminously.

Many of the articles below I’ve already posted, but here they are in a unified list of publications, most with links, which challenge the anti-opioid zealotry.   Continue reading

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