Editor’s Note: When Dr. Thomas Kline tweeted last week that it’s time for chronic pain patients to “flood state medical boards with online complaints” about being cutoff w/ the CDC and “federal drug police invalid medical excuses, we asked Terri Lewis Ph.D. for an article that shows patients how they can do it and why it might be a good idea.
Many patients do not know where to turn when they have concerns about the competency or conduct of a doctor. State medical boards are government agencies, usually housed in state Departments of Health, that are empowered to investigate complaints about doctors and, when warranted, take action against them. Continue reading
This truly seems to be happening. Until now, the “practice of medicine” was carefully defined and defended by the AMA and anybody who tried to step between doctors and their patients was hauled into court.
This time around, the AMA has been noticeable mainly by their silence in the face of this assault on the integrity of medicine, when politicians and law enforcement agencies are controlling what kind of medical care doctors are “allowed” to provide their patients.
After a few brave individual doctors had been pushing back for years, and when the CDC and FDA were close to issuing their own statements warning against the abandonment and forced tapers imposed on patients, only then did the AMA finally release its own statement advising against such barbaric (and virtually illegal, in the case of patient abandonment) practices. Continue reading
In a newly published guide, federal health officials say doctors “should never abandon” pain patients and warn of acute withdrawal and other risks.
The Trump administration on Thursday instructed doctors to use more caution when taking chronic pain patients off opioid medications, a response to reports that many have been cutting off prescriptions too quickly, in some cases even dismissing patients from their practice.
Question: Why did we have to wait 3 1/2 years for this?
Answer: because no one wanted to know the results. Continue reading
Study Finds Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Ineffective at Curbing Overdoses – by Allison Inserro – May 2019
This is the kind of interesting information I find when I look at journals for the medical-business industry; this article is from the American Journal of Managed Care.
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are now in place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in response to rising levels of overdoses involving opioids and synthetic opioids.
But a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that sought to clarify the relationship between PDMPs and their effectiveness in attacking the nation’s drug problem found limited to no evidence that they actually work.
It couldn’t be any clearer. They keep applying solutions for prescribing problems, wasting time while more and more people die of overdoses. Continue reading
The most important problem in the world is a reasonable sounding provision of the corporate law that governs most major U.S. companies.
The rule: corporate management and Boards of directors are obligated by law to make decisions that maximize the economic value of the company.
This is how you end up with absurdities like this: 400% price hike for drugs is ‘moral requirement’. It’s frightening to be at the mercy of such ruthless entities making our health unaffordable, yet this is what corporations were created to do. Continue reading
Ex-Corporate Lawyer’s Idea: Rein In ‘Sociopaths’ in the Boardroom – NY Times – By Andrew Ross Sorkin – July 2019
This “reformed” lawyer points out a fundamental flaw of our capitalist system that is responsible for increasing income inequality (rich getting richer, poor getting poorer), dysfunctional government (gridlock), and social decay (deaths of despair).
These troubles stem from a particular aspect of corporate law, and he proposes a relatively simple solution to change how corporations operate.
Jamie Gamble, a retired corporate lawyer, has had an epiphany in recent years: The executives who hired him and that his firm sought to protect, he said, “are legally obligated to act like sociopaths.” Continue reading
The DEA knew more about what quantities of opioids went where than anyone else, so I’m baffled why they didn’t stop the excessive orders that everyone is complaining about now.
Asked what would’ve happened if a pharmaceutical distributor wanted advice on whether a large order of opioids was suspicious, the man in charge of federal regulation of those pills for 10 years said he wouldn’t have helped.
Instead, Joe Rannazzisi, who set always-increasing opioid quotas for theindustry while he headed a Drug Enforcement Agency department from 2005-15, said the company would be left on its own to figure it out. Continue reading
Here’s another encouraging article that I hope is only the beginning of a return to sanity about opioids in this country:
A New Hampshire doctor recently got into trouble with state regulators because of the way he treated a pain patient.
But in a refreshing twist that suggests state officials are beginning to recognize the harm caused by restricting access to pain medication, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine reprimanded and fined the doctor not for prescribing opioids but for refusing to do so.
The settlement stems from a June 2018 complaint in which a patient reported that Greenspan, “after treating him for years and prescribing the same dosages of pain medication, suddenly reduced his medications, which led to increased pain and anxiety, and suicidal ideations.”
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
Below is a link to the final version of the draft report:
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) required the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force to develop the
which identified gaps or inconsistencies, and proposed updates to best practices and recommendations for pain management, including chronic and acute pain.
- On December 31, 2018, the Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations was released for a 90-day public comment period (December 31, 2018 – April 1, 2019) in accordance with the CARA. To view comments, visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal using docket number – HHS-OS-2018-0027.
- The Task Force approved the final report on May 9, 2019 by a majority vote.
- In accordance with the CARA, the final report is now available to the public, May 30, 2019, which is one year after the inaugural meeting.