Chronic pain patients fear new opioid bill could cripple care

Chronic pain patients fear new opioid bill could cripple care

BOSTON – A proposed bill is causing panic among those living with chronic pain.  

Massachusetts Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren have not taken a position yet on a new bill in the United States Senate that would effectively limit the medical indications for use of long-acting opioids.

It is barely three pages long but packs a potent punch.

The Federal Drug Administration Opioid Labelling Accuracy Act was filed in the U.S. Senate earlier this month. If passed, advocates say it could have a profound effect on patients living with chronic pain.  

Kari Hicks, from Weymouth, had knee surgery six years ago and has been in pain ever since. 

“It’s just one more layer of the federal government overreach,” Hicks told Boston 25 News. 

The bill, introduced by Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mike Braun of Indiana, would allow labeling for long-acting opioids only for use in cancer and end-of-life care. But it would also be up to a doctor’s discretion if opiates are considered the best choice for a given patient suffering from chronic pain.  

“It’s all lip service,” Claudia Merandi suggests. 

She is the founder of the organization “Don’t Punish Pain Rally” and formerly used opiates for pain and other symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

She says the net effect of the Manchin/Braun bill if passed, will be to virtually end access to opioids for patients with chronic pain.  

“No doctor in their right frame of mind will prescribe,” she said. “They see their colleagues being shipped off to prison and they’re not willing to take the chance.”

Hicks says her doctor tapered her off opioids last February, fearful of federal intervention in his practice. 

She says she has been living with pain ever since.

“Every day at the end of the day I’m just done,” she said. “I just don’t want anybody around me. I’m grumpy. I want to be part of everything but the pain is just bigger.”

I was at a town hall meeting of Sen Braun on July 8th, 2019 and really couldn’t get him to talk much about the opiate crisis… He is a first term – first year – Senator and mainly wanted to talk about how his company in Jasper , IN .. because of the way they did things their premiums for employees didn’t increase for 10 yrs.  Sounds like a case of HIGH COPAYS & DEDUCTIBLES in getting health care.

Sen Manchin, once was talking about introducing a bill that would put a tax/surcharge on pharma opiates to pay for treatment for people dealing with substance abuse.

Neither one of these senators have and medical background… so of course, they are HIGHLY QUALIFIED TO INTRODUCE SUCH A BILL..

So most clinical studies take TEN YEARS or so… and the 1000’s of years that opiates have been used to treat pain… is just a FOOTNOTE in medical history ?

5 Responses

  1. pain care is already crippled. It’ll just get worse, until it no longer exists unless you’re rich or powerful.

  2. Rediculous

  3. Politicians are best at drama, lies and throwing the baby out with the bathwater! No one, even other medical professionals should be allowed to tell a physician how they can or should treat their patients!! This has to stop but without admitting how wrong they are, how inept they are, and how unqualified they are to practice medicine (even if they’re medically trained they can’t know the details of every patient in this country) for anyone other than their own patients, it will never stop! Perpetrating lies and misinformation is the only thing these idiots are qualified to do!!

  4. Reject government interference in medicine!!!! Only those who go to medical school should enact legislation governing opioid dispensing. CRPS is rated more painful than caner and amputation and childbirth. It is THE most painful condition known to man, with no known cure and limited effective treatment options. Opioids ARE a medically necessary treatment option for CRPS and other chronic pain disorders. No one with CRPS or chronic pain should be denied medically necessary pain meds as prescribed and monitored by a liscensed physician. Opioids have a distinct purpose for chronic pain. Period. End of discussion.

  5. I am tired of the government interfering in my heath care, they are not
    Doctors and unless they suffer from Chronic Disease they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

    Let’s face it, our Government is in shambles, they can’t do the jobs they were hired to do so they need to do to something to get their names in the media. Both of these Senators are nobodies with big
    Mouths and no talent. If they had done their job in the first place their
    States wouldn’t be overrun with drug pushers, addicts, Heroin and
    Fentanyl which are the real cause of this so called crisis.

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