Another “social war” that we have failed at..

The War on Poverty After 50 Years

From the article:

In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.

Only 10% of people believe that the war on drugs is being won !

Interacting with Healthcare professionals

tennis matchInteraction with a healthcare professional should be like a “tennis match”… one party asks a question… other party answers and vice versa…

Everything that a healthcare professional does should be guided by BEST PRACTICES and STANDARD OF CARE for a particular disease state.

I am hearing from a lot of chronic pain pts that the seemingly the first question out of the healthcare professional’s mouth is “what medications can we reduce”.. it is understood that they are talking about opiates or other controlled meds that the pt is currently taking…

Of course, the pt automatically gets defensive… because they understand that what is going to happen is their pain is going to increase, their quality of life is going to decrease and they are going to end up being house, chair, bed confined. If they are still working.. they may have to quit their job, and their ability to be a good spouse or parent is going to be compromised.

Instead of becoming defensive.. perhaps the pt should become offensive…. such as the follow conversation …

HCP… let’s see you have been on this med (opiate) for several years… we need to start reducing your dose..

PT… Good.. let’s also talk about reducing my other meds ( hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid )….

HCP… I can’t reduce those other meds… you need those to properly manage your chronic conditions …

PT… So I don’t need to properly manage my chronic pain… like I have to manage my other conditions…

HCP… well, chronic pain is different …

PT… So you don’t believe that I am in pain ?  that I am lying to you about my pain ?

HCP… No… it just that the DEA is saying that I should prescribe less opiates…

PT… so the DEA has established a standard of care and best practices for treating chronic pain… can I get a copy of those ?

HCP.. I don’t have them here right now…

PT.. give the HCP this quote from the DEA

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is not trying to limit or ration access to opioid painkillers, according to a DEA spokesman who says “nothing should stand in the way” of a patient getting a legitimate prescription for pain medication filled.

“We’re not doctors. We’re regulators and enforcers of the law. If something is prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose, we’re certainly not going to get in the way,” said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne.

PT… so lets get back to discussing of my pain management and how the DEA is telling you to prescribe less !

If the healthcare arena.. there is this common saying… “if it is not documented… it did not happen…”.. the pt has just documented what the DEA has said and the HCP can’t produce documentation to give them cause to reduce your dose…  CHECK MATE !

Enough already !

We human being are not perfect.. but out society seems to expect “perfection” out of those with a higher public profile. Right now the public eye is focused on the NFL and its “abuse scandal”…

First we have two different players that basically INDUCED PAIN on another person… yes… it is not right… but.. NO ONE DIED !!! the reactions to their actions is it OVER THE TOP ?

One player was suspended indefinitely and the other may be charged with a FELONY…

the singer Rihanna – who is known as a person of abuse from a boyfriend… had her scheduled song/video to open the NFL game of the week.. PULLED/CANCELLED …  because of her previous abuse and the image that it was perceived to portray.

Yes there should be some punishment…but.. has the political correctness of our society trying to homogenize the action of all within the society gone totally off the rails ? Are we trying to prove that the bell curve can be flattened ?

I spend 12 yrs in parochial school in a time that the majority of the teachers were no nonsense NUNS… and the coaches at the high school level made the nuns look benign.. it was not unusual that someone had a “board meeting”… the paddle in the coach’s hand.. had a meeting with your ass..  I can confirm from personal experience that those paddles left sizable bruises and there was substantial pain involved… NO ONE DIED …but cooperation by me and my fellow students tend to improve.

Compare that to people who are suppose to be pillars of the community (prescribers & Pharmacists)… who are knowingly deviating from standard of care and best practices when it comes to chronic pain pts… wanting to reduce their opiates doses – causing increased pain.. and or blatantly refusing to fill a legal/on time/medically necessary Rx and throwing the pt into withdrawal..  WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES OR PUNISHMENT to those “pillars of the community”.

Maybe those in the community that are seeing this abuse of pts at the pharmacy… don’t comprehend what they are seeing taking place… or you know the employer is not going to “leak” the video to the media… in fact, the prescriber’s interaction with the pt is one-on-one without any recording taking place…

civil forfeiture – guilty until proven innocent

From the article:

In Pennsylvania, the City of Brotherly Love is far and away the most aggressive in the state when it comes to people’s property. Over a four-year period, Allegheny County, the second largest county in Pennsylvania, filed about 200 petitions for civil forfeiture. Philadelphia filed nearly 7,000 petitions in one year alone, according to the class action lawsuit, in which the Sourvelises are plaintiffs, along with other Philadelphia citizens.

Philadelphia officials seized more than 1,000 houses, about 3,300 vehicles and $44 million in cash, totaling $64 million in civil forfeitures over a 10-year period, according to the lawsuit.

The very authorities taking the property appear to be profiting from it, according to Pennsylvania state records. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office says about $7 million went straight to the salaries for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and the police department in just three years. In that same time period, records show the D.A.’s office spent no money on community-based drug and crime-fighting programs, according to the Philadelphia AG’s office.

What the hell are they thinking ?

New pharmacy school eyed for Mississippi,0

From the article:

William Carey University (WCU) in Mississippi is trying to raise $4 million for upfront costs for a new pharmacy school.

University officials told the Sun Herald that a new pharmacy school in the region is needed to meet the demand for pharmacists and for area students looking to study pharmacy.

Do new pharmacists face a joblessness crisis?

From the article: dated Oct 2013

An overestimation of future pharmacist jobs plus too many pharmacy schools will lead to a joblessness crisis for new pharmacy students, predicts a recent report in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.
The report recommends tough medicine for pharmacy schools and the pharmacy industry. “Growth of the academy needs to cease forthwith. Institutions considering establishment of a new PharmD program should be discouraged from doing so by all sectors of the profession. Existing programs contemplating expansion should seriously consider putting their plans on hold,” the report said.
There are reports that we are graduating 3000-4000/yr more Pharmacist than are needed.. and the above report plainly states that pharmacy school growth needs to CEASE FORTHWITH !

How the media uses synonyms to “sanitize” our point of view !

We all know that Nicotine is a DRUG.. a VERY POTENTIALLY ADDICTING DRUG.. that has no medical purpose…

But when you listen to this Nicorette commercial .. this poor “ADDICT” is having CRAVINGS… watch the person in this video.. doesn’t it look like he is having some sort of WITHDRAWAL ?

If this piece was talking about a person who abuses some substance – other than alcohol or tobacco – think some opiates – legal or illegal —  they would most likely be talking about this poor “addict” NEEDING A FIX !

Sometimes the government is actually there to protect us..

EEOC sues Arlington pharmacy for pregnancy discrimination after two women were fired in March 2013

From the article:

For the second time in the span of just a few weeks, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing a local business of pregnancy discrimination.

In Dallas federal court Monday, the EEOC sued Arlington-based Tomeldon Company, Inc. for terminating two pregnant workers in March 2013. The company is better known as Pharmacy Solutions, where Arian Lemon worked as a pharmacist at Pharmacy Solutions and Emilee Stephens was employed as a pharmacy technician until they were given their pink slips, according to the feds. The lawsuit accuses Pharmacy Solutions of “unlawful employment practices … done with malice or with reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of Arian Lemon and Emilee Stephens.”

The feds say this is the 45th pregnancy discrimination suit filed in the last three years, and that it was brought only after “first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.” The feds want Pharmacy Solutions to pay the woman lost wages and other punitive damages.

Collateral damage or acceptable causalities ?

SRAcrystalballBack in the ’50’s there was a TV showed called THE LONE RANGER The Lone Ranger had a Indian (Native American) side kick name TONTO…  Tonto was a man of few words and seemed to have an intuitive nature of other humans.. As I remember, one of his regularly used quotes was “paleface speaks with forked tongue”

Today that quote would seems to apply with a small various “Bureaucrat speaks with forked tongue” and my personal opinion, this phrase is very appropriate to those who work for the DEA.

Most have read the public statements by the DEA that they are not doctors and are not here to interfere with a patient’s right to get their necessary medications.

We also know by the actions of those that the DEA licenses ( wholesalers, prescribers, pharmacies) that there is a different story being told to these licensees..

I have been a “student” of how the Federal Bureaucracy works for several decades and there is little that happens that comes out of Washington that doesn’t have a much larger impact on our society than the initial law/regulation would suggest. There is always a long term hidden agenda.

As an example, CMS has published that pts taking more than 120 mg (Morphine Equivalents) a day.. are “risky patients”. Some medical licensing boards, AG’s, legislators have went down a similar path.

I am told by many pts that their prescribers are telling them that they have to reduce their opiates – per the DEA…

I am seeing more and more chronic pain pts making similar  comments on various internet venues “I am not sure how much longer I can continue to deal with my pain “.. I take that to mean that they are talking about committing SUICIDE ..

Just this past week… a senior couple committed MURDER/SUICIDE in Fort Myers FL… because of untreated chronic pain … It made the local news…but did you see it on the national news ???  Since a GUN was used… the DEA won’t be able to use this as a “accidental drug overdose ”

Or how about the veteran recently committed suicide – by gun – over lack of pain management from the VA  Did you hear about that one on the national news ?

The same number of people have committed suicide in a similar time frame as ISIS has murdered innocent civilians…  ISIS murdered those three people and published it on the internet.. The DEA CONTRIBUTED to the suicides of those three other people… but their methodology is such that they don’t get any BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS .. Which one of those deaths did you see on the national news ?

The options these pts have are few… become house, chair, bed confined because of their unresolved pain.. basically become completely INVISIBLE to our society.

They could turn to Heroin or MJ … I understand that it is relative cheap… of course both are illegal and if they die of a Heroin overdose… or caught possessing MJ… it will give the DEA more fodder to justify continuing the war on drugs.

The pts start prescriber/pharmacy shopping… not to get enough opiates to get high… but to attempt to attain some quality of life.. If they are caught by the state’s PMP.. then the DEA will have more fodder to come down on some more prescribers for over prescribing… again justification to continue the war on drugs.

They commit suicide, if they do it with their meds… another “accidental overdose” .. and more fodder for the DEA to continue the war on drugs.


What you perceive is what you believe !


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