Tag Archives: good-news

R.I. bill excludes chronic pain from Rx guidelines

Rep. Amore bill that excludes chronic intractable pain from medication prescribing guidelines passed by House – Press release – June 2019

Finally, a state government (which does have the authority to regulate medical practice, unlike the federal government) is proposing a bill to allow chronic intractable pain patients to continue taking opioids if they are the only effective treatment.

This legislation is remarkably reasonable, realistic, and would be a huge relief to pain patients.

Rep. Gregg Amore’s (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) legislation (2019-H 5434A) that would exclude chronic intractable pain from the definition of “acute pain management” for the purposes of prescribing opioid medication was passed by the House of Representatives.   Continue reading

Catastrophizing NOT predictive of poor outcomes

Pain coping skills training doesn’t improve knee arthroplasty outcomes– by Bruce Jancin – June 2019

Here’s the research I’ve been waiting for to disprove the hype around the idea that “catastrophizing leads to more pain and worse outcomes”. In this study, they expected to get results confirming this “catastrophizing hypothesis“, but they found no such thing.

They did find that when patients’ pain was relieved after successful knee replacement (80% success rate), their catastrophizing score was also dramatically reduced, regardless of which trial arm they were in.

This is contradictory to many less rigorous studies that showed catastrophizing leading to worse outcomes. But this prospective randomized study shows what pain patients have always known:

When pain is relieved, so is catastrophizing.  Continue reading

Fined for withholding pain medication

St. Anthony’s fined $25K for withholding pain medication from two patients – by Sarah Hayden, Reporter – Jul 3, 2019

I’m thrilled to finally see some successful pushback from patients who are deliberately left in pain due to opioid restrictions.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) first-quarter report, the nursing facility at 767 30th St., Rock Island, was cited for four license violations related to the abuse and neglect of the patients in December. 

The report, published in April, states the facility failed to monitor pain, establish control of severe pain and administer pain medication for two residents,” one suffering from arthritis and the other from chronic leg pain and open wounds.    Continue reading

Doctor reprimanded for treatment of pain patient

Portsmouth doctor reprimanded for treatment of chronic pain patient – by Shawne K. Wickham New Hampshire Sunday News – Jul 6, 2019 

This is incredibly good news: finally, a doctor is punished for forcing a significant dose reduction of opioid pain relief, which left his patient in agony and close to suicide.

A Portsmouth doctor has been reprimanded and fined by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine after he cut back a chronic pain patient’s prescription opioid painkillers — and then dropped him as a patient altogether after the man threatened suicide.

Joshua Greenspan, who is board certified in pain management and anesthesiology, signed a settlement agreement in May to resolve allegations of professional misconduct.   Continue reading

Court challenge to Controlled Substances Act

Federal appeals court refuses to dismiss the federal cannabis lawsuit. – Mike Hiller, Esq. – May 30, 2019

I just came across this and I’m not sure if this applies to our situation with opioids, but I’m delighted to see this challenge to the misbegotten Controlled Substances Act, which was passed and signed into law in 1970, almost half a century ago.

In a groundbreaking decision, the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the first Court to refuse to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act.

Hurray, a judge finally comes to a rational decision! 

Continue reading

Physicians Call on Politicians to End Interference

Frontline Physicians Call on Politicians to End Political Interference in the Delivery of Evidence Based Medicine – May 2019

This is a move in the right direction, but my feeling is that it’s too little and too late. If the practices they oppose are so important to them, why did these groups wait over three full years to speak up?

It looks like they were cowering in the shadows until other, much more courageous, doctors were already speaking up.

Our organizations are firmly opposed to efforts in state legislatures across the United States that

  • inappropriately interfere with the patient-physician relationship,
  • unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine and, in some cases,
  • even criminalize physicians who deliver safe, legal, and necessary medical care.

Continue reading

Happiness doesn’t follow success: it leads

Happiness doesn’t follow success: it’s the other way round – Lisa C Walsh, Julia K Boehm & Sonja Lyubomirsky | Aeon Ideas – 24 May, 2019

I am posting this because it refutes an argument I hear far too often: you have to work hard and completely devote yourself to a profession in order to be successful. I’ve never believed it, but I’ve certainly been pressured by it.

Here we see how inverting all those studies that show success leads to happiness can be just as scientifically valid because these studies only show correlation not causation, yet everyone even scientists who should know better jump to conclusions that fit what we initially believe before we even see the data.

Work hard, become successful, then you’ll be happy. At least, that’s what many of us were taught by our parents, teachers and peers.   Continue reading

Warrantless searches of medical records

United States Department of Justice v. Michelle Ricco Jonas | ACLU of New Hampshire – May 2019

I’m glad to see someone is standing up for patients against having their medical data available for warrantless DEA searches.

On May 29, 2019, the ACLU of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Medical Society filed a federal court amicus brief to support the State’s defense of patients from warrantless searches of medical records.

Also filed by the national ACLU and four other ACLU affiliates, the brief is part of the federal case U.S. Department of Justice v. Jonas, and explains that not only are these types of unjustified searches unconstitutional, but that they can have adverse consequences and deter patients from receiving needed medical care.    Continue reading

Senate committee focuses on pain sufferers denied opioids

Senate committee focuses on pain sufferers denied painkillers amid opioid crisis – By Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News – June 2019

This article, written by our unexpected ally Ms. Llorente of Fox News, is indeed good news.

As the national focus on the opioid crisis centers on cracking down on overprescribing practices and addressing addicts, Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the upper chamber’s health committee, is putting a spotlight on a critical side of the debate that has been neglected — people who suffer chronic debilitating pain.

The veteran Tennessee Republican lawmaker is holding hearings to hear from sufferers of debilitating pain, who in the last two years have reported being forcibly tapered down or outright abandoned by doctors who had been treating them.

As they say, politics make for strange bedfellows.   Continue reading

More CDC Guideline Writers Recant

No Shortcuts to Safer Opioid Prescribing | NEJM Deborah Dowell, M.D., M.P.H., Tamara Haegerich, Ph.D., and Roger Chou, M.D. [!!!] – Apr 2019

This article is astonishing because Dr. Roger Chou has been one of the most influential anti-opioid crusaders. I’m thrilled that he’s finally understanding (or at least noticing) the problems (torture) caused by the CDC Guideline that he helped write.

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in 2016, 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.

“Accelerated decreases” is a deliberately innocuous term when referring to the brutal, suicide-inducing, drastic forced opioid tapers pain patients have had to endure.  Continue reading