Tag Archives: politics

HHS Secretary: Don’t Forget Those Who Suffer Pain

Don’t Forget Those Who Are Suffering From Pain – June 1, 2018 – By: Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Adm. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health

This is an encouraging note from our government official, igniting my hope that the plight of pain patients is finally being confronted.

Our nation faces a tremendous challenge in fighting an epidemic of opioid misuse. Many Americans have developed their addiction following treatment for a painful condition, and many are overdosing on prescription painkillers or illegal opioids like heroin and illicit fentanyl. In fact, it is estimated that between 60 and 75 percent of Americans who use heroin started with misusing prescription opioids…

…but not prescribed to them! That’s the critical difference being ignored.   Continue reading


The insane crackdown on pain medication

The insane crackdown on pain medication – By Betsy McCaughey – May 24, 2018

If you have chronic, agonizing pain, your troubles are about to get worse. New state and federal regulations will make it nearly impossible to get the prescription painkillers you need.

Grandstanding politicians are imposing one-size-fits-all limits on how much medication patients can receive and for how long.

Politicians claim they’re combating the opioid crisis, but these draconian limits will harm millions with chronic pain and do zip to curb overdose deaths.   Continue reading

DEA has no clue what it’s talking about

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

Opioid Shortages Force Improvisation

Opioid Shortages Force Improvisation and Cancellations – May 7, 2018  Michael Vlessides

The proliferation of opioid abuse and its alarming death toll have become major issues in both medical care and politics, but while many have spent the last several months decrying opioids, alarm has been slowly building over shortages of these same drugs.

Shortages of many injectable forms of opioids have reminded patients, federal agencies and clinicians alike of the vital role they play in a variety of health care settings, and left institutions nationwide scrambling to find alternative medications and analgesic routes.   Continue reading

Result of Politics: Patients Suffer and Street Drugs Kill

Politicians Get the Opioid Crisis Wrong as Patients Suffer and Street Drugs Kill – by John Hayward18 Apr 2018

The crisis will not abate if the real problem is not addressed effectively.

There are good reasons to fear that special interests are pushing us in the wrong direction by targeting deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies instead of elusive street dealers and foreign drug cartels.

In the “opioid debate/crisis”, the left and right wing differences in this country are blurred and the most support for pain patients is coming from libertarians.    Continue reading

Are Prescription Opioids Driving the Opioid Crisis?

Are Prescription Opioids Driving the Opioid Crisis? Assumptions vs Facts – Pain Medicine; Dec 2017 – Mark Edmund Rose, BS, MA

This is a very long article that examines how we got where we are now,  how the demonization of all opioids as public policy was cleverly engineered by anti-opioid activists.

It provides a detailed history of how the CDC guideline was conceived and written mainly by anti-opioid activists (PROP) and how all that led up to it was manipulated to create the guideline as a manifesto for the “war on pain patients”.

While highly consequential to patients with pain whose function and quality of life may benefit from opioid analgesics, current assumptions about prescription opioid analgesics, including their role in the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic, have not been scrutinized.   Continue reading

Argument Against Present Supply-Side Opioid Policy

New Study from American Action Forum Adds to the Argument Against Present Supply-Side Opioid Policy – April 12, 2018 – By Jeffrey A. Singer

On April 11 the Washington Post cited a new study from the American Action Forum that reinforces arguments I have made here and here, that despite a dramatic reduction in the opioid prescription rate—a 41 percent reduction in high-dose opioid prescriptions since prescriptions peaked in 2010—the overdose rate continues to climb, as nonmedical users have simply migrated to more dangerous substitutes like fentanyl and heroin while the supply of diverted prescription opioids suitable for abuse continues to come down.

four researchers working in the CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention reported in the April 2018 American Journal of Public Health that the CDC’s method for tracking opioid overdose deaths have over-estimated the number due to prescription opioids, calling the rate “significantly inflated.”   Continue reading

Doctors (finally) bristle at push for opioid Rx limits

Doctors bristle at push for opioid prescription limits – /thehill.com/ – By RACHEL ROUBEIN – 04/11/18T

An increasing number of states and entities in the health industry are putting curbs on the amount of opioids that doctors can prescribe, a controversial move aimed at combating the opioid crisis.

These limits have garnered support from various stakeholders and are now being considered in Congress, with a bipartisan group of senators proposing to set a cap on first-time prescriptions for acute pain.

So now the United States Congress wants to legislate our healthcare.  Continue reading

Lawmakers are addicted to bad opioid policy

Arizona lawmakers are addicted to bad opioid policy – The Arizona Republic – Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer

The governor of Arizona is calling on the Legislature this week to enact prescription limits as well as other bureaucratic intrusions into the doctor-patient relationship.

Such policies are nothing new: State lawmakers are addicted to the idea of restricting doctors from providing opioids to patients in pain.

This strategy is premised on a false narrative.   Continue reading

Patient Input to FDA Opioid Policy Committee

What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping? – National Pain Report – Feb 2018 – By Richard A Lawhern, Ph.D.

On January 30, 2018, I was one of ~40 speakers before an audience of over 200,  in public hearings of the US FDA Opioid Policy Steering Committee, at Silver Spring Md.  

The Committee is composed of eight FDA senior department heads and Center directors.  

For once, pain patients were allowed to participate, along with medical professional societies, healthcare technology corporations, and a few partisans intent on obstructing all access to opioid pain relievers.   Continue reading