When Lawyers take on unconstitutional laws and recalcitrant prescribers.

Lawmakers May Make Changes to Tough Prescribing Law

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/maine/articles/2017-04-28/chronic-pain-patients-may-sue-over-tough-prescribing-law

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Lawmakers concerned about the plight of residents with chronic pain are considering softening a tough law that puts limits on how much opioid painkillers a doctor can prescribe.

Maine has the nation’s strictest limit for opioid prescriptions, part of a sweeping law that aims to stop doctors from over-prescribing the painkillers. The law passed last year with support from Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic lawmakers.

By July, Maine doctors will not be allowed to prescribe more than 100 milligrams of opioid medication per day to most of their patients.

The law has a broad exception for “palliative care” that the state says protects patients with chronic or acute pain. But Rockland attorney Patrick Mellor says he’s heard from 100 people across Maine who say their doctors have told them they don’t qualify for the exceptions.

Mellor said he is representing two chronic pain patients who have formally notified the state they intend to sue over the opioid prescription law. He said he hopes a legislative committee will “at a minimum” extend the deadline to next year.

That change would let doctors and patients “taper,” or reduce, opioid dosages over a longer period of time than allowed under the current law. Federal guidelines say chronic pain patients who agree to lower doses should be tapered down slowly. Otherwise, experts say, they could experience depression or suicidal tendencies.

“It’s not exaggerating to say that people will die if the legislature doesn’t extend that tapering deadline,” Mellor said.

One of Mellor’s clients is Eric Wass, who owns a small roofing company in Rockland. He said he’s been on narcotics for 20 years for his spine, and said his doctors have long prescribed him enough painkillers to make sure he “can keep working and living his life.”

But now his medication has been cut back and he only has enough “to get me through a half day,” leading to afternoons spent on the couch to avoid pain, Mellor said.

“My ability to work is being taken away from me by you all or whoever else is responsible for this,” he recently told lawmakers.

Democratic Rep. Patricia Hymanson, the committee’s House chair, said she hopes the committee can agree on a solution and better educate the medical community.

“I think that just for humanity’s sake something needs to be done,” she said.

We have all seen advertisement from personal injury attorneys wanting to sue someone and their insurance company when they caused a accident that caused harm to a “innocent person”  and/or caused that same person to not be able to work for a short or long period of time because of that “accidental harm”.

Now imagine a legislature that passes laws that could cause INTENTIONAL harm to a person and/or cause the person to become unemployed. The legislature put exceptions in the law that would allow prescribers to continue to treat pts to such a degree that there is no actual or theoretical harm…  but prescribers take a the position that chronic pain pts do not “qualify” to be diagnosed with the need of palliative care and thus there is INTENTIONAL harm done to a person or groups of people.  The particular law automatically becomes standard of care and best practices for the prescribers in the state, and for a prescriber to fail to adhere to those standards could be considered MALPRACTICE and intentional act that causes a person to become unemployed… the monies awarded to the plaintiff (harmed pt) could be very substantial.

8 Responses

  1. I was stable on 90 med per day for a severe spinal cord injury. In Ohio the state closed down the legitimate pain clinic by stripping the dr(s) of their licences over false allegations. The charges were not opioid related and they were found not guilty. But the fact remains hundreds of patients were abandoned and no doctor in Ohio will take a patient from that practice. I went from being managed at the acceptable amount to nothing. My life is miserable, I want to die. Legitimate patients are denied pain care, yet the state is handing out syringes and tourniquets to the drug abusers shooting heroin. Governor Kasich is out running around to other states to promote his stupid book, while he was the main contributor to these ridiculous anti opioid prescribing laws. Look at a graph for the heroin problem in Ohio, in 2010 when he was elected he started the doctor harassment over prescribing opioids, heroin and suicides began to climb. Fast forward to 2017 and Ohio is the overdose capital of the country for heroin. Not prescription opioids because almost no doctor will risk prescribing them.

  2. Will this lawyer help all of us tooo?????,,,,maryw

  3. when the CDC placed Fentanyl under REMS it stated that Will this action make it harder for patients to receive their transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF) medicines?

    A. No. FDA does not expect that this new class Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) will affect patient access to TIRF medicines compared to the individual REMS. Having a single shared REMS for all of the TIRF medicines will make it easier for prescribers and pharmacies to participate in the TIRF REMS Access program, which we expect to improve patient access. Sponsors will also be required to evaluate the impact of the REMS on patient access to their TIRF medicines as part of required periodic assessments of the REMS, and FDA will review these assessments.
    THis is a load of BULL, I had to check over 20 pharmacies to findONE that had the medicine, twice I had pharmacies that were no longer able to get the med from their distributor, but hey it was not the “intent” BS, it absolutely wasthe intent to make it harder for patients to get the medicine, it made my pain doctor stop prescribing it all together because of how it was worded as to who could prescribe it, thankfully I did get them to say that he could , it was not the “intent”- there’s that word again- to stop patients already opioid dependent, yet that is exactly what happened,

  4. I sure as hell did not agree to a reduction, I have been on high doses (according to the CDC) for 14 years for chronic pancreatitis and now I am struggling to get my pain at a place I can get my daily chores done that I have always been able to do with my medications. CP is horrifically painful and I will not stop fighing this until my dying breath!

    • We will die from chronic pancreatitis,,,early then others,,,,for me,,I am videoing every puke,,,every busted blood vessel from the swelling,,,in the front and my back,,every bruse from the swelling,,Every day,,,my back swells,,,from pancreatitis,,,,and my meds also just got dropped,,,At least u have your diagnosed,,,They refuse to diagnose mine,,,”continual acute pancreatitis,””” wtf???knowing full well chronic pancreatitis requires opiate medicine for life,,,,now a days,,,they don’t even want to diagnose it,,,,,m

  5. I keep seeing the statement that includes “doctors and their parents agree to reduce pain medication”. I don’t know about anyone else but I had zero choice in the reduction of my medication! I keep being told how good I am doing. Good? Yes the numbers are down but my pain level is way up! I have begged and pleaded to NOT have my medication reduced! I am certain that many of us deal with the same issue of being TOLD that our medication WILL be reduced, PERIOD! Every law meant to protect addicts hurts pain patients, both current and future! The damage done to us physically, emotionally and financially don’t seem to mean a dam thing!

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