Tag Archives: politics

Chronic pain requires access to medication

Chronic pain requires access to medication – By Lauren Deluca – September 22, 2018

New York is confronting a serious illicit fentanyl epidemic [thank you, Lauren, for calling it what it is!] better known as the opioid crisis, and lawmakers, nonprofits and the health care community are desperately seeking a solution.

…to the point that they are pursuing solutions to problems that don’t exist, like the supposed “prescription” opioid crisis.

However, a new law recently signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will do nothing to alleviate the suffering of addiction. But it could add immeasurably to the suffering of patients with serious health conditions.  Continue reading

Time for Pain Doctors to Take Back Pain Prescribing

Time for Pain Practitioners to Take Back Pain Prescribing – By Jodi Godfrey, MS, RD – at PAINWeek, Sept 2017
Presentations by Stephen J. Ziegler, PhD, JD, Kevin L. Zacharoff, MD, and Michael Schatman, PhD

“with what may be viewed as opioid McCarthyism—our fears are being exploited in the media and by the government with some individuals being blacklisted, just as occurred 70 years ago.

“We have government investigations of prescribers and a marginalization of pain,” Dr. Ziegler said, “to the point that the trend toward undertreating post-surgical pain is now manifesting as chronic pain.”

Pain practitioners are essentially operating under a fear of sanction.   Continue reading

Opioid bills could net millions for companies

Opioid bills could net millions for companies – By Adam Cancryn –  June 2018

The House is touting passage of dozens of bills that could help combat the national opioid crisis — but a small handful of companies that have spent millions lobbying Congress could reap a windfall if any of the bills become law.

In a two-week legislative blitz, the House cleared several narrowly tailored measures that would spur sales for companies that have ramped up their influence game in Washington, according to a review of the more than five dozen bills up for votes.

Those poised to benefit include:   Continue reading

Politics, Confirmation Bias, and Opioids

Politics, Confirmation Bias, and Opioids – by Jeffrey Singer – Aug 2018

Much has been written about how politics and ideology

  • influence research funding,
  • suppress research in certain areas, and
  • lead to the cherry-picking and misrepresentation of evidence in support of a narrative or agenda.

Science journalist John Tierney explored “The Real War on Science” in an excellent essay in City Journal in 2016.

blatant politicized science is becoming the norm in the environmental arena, and probably has infiltrated most every other discipline, too.   Continue reading

Moral Crusades and Moral Panics as Means of Social Control

Moral Crusades and Moral Panics as a Means of Social Control in the Medical Profession – March 2016

Though the author is writing about the witch hunt and punishment of doctors suspected of drug abuse, this article is equally pertinent to pain patients who are always suspected (if not downright accused) of drug abuse.

Sociologist Stanley Cohen  used the term ”moral panic” to characterize the amplification of deviance by the media, the public, and agents of social control.

Labeled as being outside the central core values of consensual society, the deviants in the designated group are perceived as posing a threat to both the values of society and society itself.  Belief in the seriousness of the situation justifies intolerance and unfair treatment of the accused. The evidentiary standard is lowered.   Continue reading

Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis

Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis – By Sandhya Raman, ANDREW SIDDONS and Mary Ellen McIntire –  June 2018

Targeting prescription opioids puts Congress years behind the crisis, which is largely driven by illicit nonprescription drugs.

Congress faced a startling public health and political problem throughout 2016 as the number of people dying from opioid addiction climbed. 

Two years later, the situation is more dire and the political imperative to act even more intense.   Continue reading

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