This deserves more than being just a COMMENT !

This was placed as a comment on my blog post

Pain Medication Acquisition Problems Growing, NCPA Survey Finds

Chances are .. if you don’t already know someone who is suffering from chronic pain… you eventually will…

If the decisions from these BOZOS at the DEA have not impacted you, someone you know, someone you love, or your business.. it eventually will…

We treat our beloved pets better.. than we do our fellow man… if our pets become ill and are “suffering” .. if their illness can’t be resolved and stop them suffering.. we have the option to “put them down” .. which breaks your heart… but you do what is best for a suffering pet.  Our society seems hell bent on letting those poor suffering chronic pain pts.. JUST SUFFER… when there are options that would address their chronic pain..  What other disease state … does our society discourage healthcare providers to  provide adequate/aggressive therapy/treatment ?  It is estimated that >50% of “dead from a drug overdose” is really suicide… by chronic pain pts.. who are getting “token doses” of opiates to treat their pain.

Our pharmacy was cut off from scheduled medication without warning or reason just 3 weeks after we were named as a quarter finalist for our wholesaler’s pharmacy of the year award for our work in the Pain Management Field. In 2012 I received our State Pharmacy Association Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award for my work in Pain Management.  In our semi-rural area, there were no other pharmacies that could take in our pain patients.  We had two reported suicides, one medical death we believe was related, multiple hospice admits, multiple ER admits, some hospital admissions, and lot of lost function and quality of life.  Now we hear that restrictions are growing.  Pharmacies that were unaffected by the summer controlled substance cut-backs began to experience cut-backs in the fall.

So here are the statistics: Eight million chronic pain patients are treated with opiate-based medication safely and effectively every single day in this country.  About 16,000 people die each year from opiate overdose. It is believed that most of them were recreational users. A large portion of those had their medication dispensed directly from the ‘physician’ at a clinic.  (FL no longer allows this) About 16,000 people die each year from NSAID use. It is believed that they are not recreational NSAID users.  The CDC announced this year that about 23,000 people die each year from the consequences of antibiotic misuse.

I believe the above speaks to the need for local pharmacists who have a relationship with their patients and the time to counsel them, and monitor their medication use.  

I have more than just a rant,  I have a solution.  go to and look at the CSAPP Controlled Substance Advanced Practice Pharmacy registration model I propose to maintain patient access to care. It is a workable solution; we’ve used it daily for 10 years.

7 Responses

  1. PS. Yes the pharmacist apologized for the unprofessional behaviors. We left the meeting with a far better understanding of each other and certainly a far better understanding of who/what the problem truly is.

  2. Re my earlier post … things have been resolved at great angst to me, time wasted, my schedule very tangibly ruined causing further stress today. It turns out though yes the pharmacist(s) were rude, they were also confused. It also turns out that my doctor is a lying, backstabbing, inept and irresponsible shit who unknown to me, while I was sitting on the bed finally crying at the futility of all my endeavors, a good friend and my advocate, after hearing the trials and tribulations that I was made to endure at the hands of my doctor (who in an hour and a half meeting with myself and her not 2 weeks ago, assured both of us that all was well, we were all on the same page yada yada) had spoken directly to my doctor (he had called her home as my contact number and got her .. lucky lucky me and unlucky him … she let him have it apparently), got into her car in her own pain for which she cannot take any narcotics for, and went into his waiting room, called the MOA out for not doing HER job, then went right into my doctor’s office after a patient had just left, and again let him have it because he had not, as he had promised (hahahahahaha) written out my prescriptions ready for her to pick up to bring to me. She called me as she was about to get on to the ferry, to let me know to meet her at the pharmacy in my town. (she deserves a freaking medal this woman! though in the same situation I would do the same for her / anyone). It turns out that duh … if I am asking for early release, 3 x … all the while being upfront and honest with you, telling you it’s not working as well (um, after 6 years at the same dose … ) and you claiming to understand etcetc … would it not be reasonable to perhaps increase the dose minimally to see if this is the issue? Hm…. well whatever she said … got him to at least increase the breakthrough medication.
    I then had my meeting with my pharmacist (after waiting for an hour and half … patiently and gladly). Something had changed with him and his staff as they were uber friendly, uber understanding, and clearly saw that I was in pain … having been made to wait while my doctor fucked around. The meeting went well. I was told of the dishonest statements that my doctor had made to him and his staff. I was told exactly what the laws are, what he as a pharmacist, can and can not do, which my doctor should know. I left feeling better than I have in days in terms of having taken the time to educate and be educated. The pain not so much but what can you do! lol. Yes I did get my medications.

    Now to the point of Steve’s post – I have been wondering for days about what exactly are the statistics of people who successfully utilize narcotic medications, without any problems, vs those who abuse. Interestingly it is the recreational users that die. Yes some legitimate pain patients unfortunately do take their own lives but we know what’s that about. Nothing to do with recreation unless you count the profiteers who are lounging on their yachts, basking in the money they’ve stolen from all of us. These statistics need to be blasted out there. Call the media out on their exploitive antics and tell them to level the playing field.

    It goes to what I have been saying … we ALL have to stand up, speak out, put the right information (TRUTH) out there and punch these bastards right in the face. It’s going to take hard work, tolerance and patience … but all good things do take time.

  3. First I would like to breath a sigh of relief. I have been following your comments on various blogs over the past two days and wondering how do I find you? I am heartened to have found you, and even more so that you have a website. Over the past two months I have been dealing with ignorance, judgement and simple lack of care from both my pharmacist and his staff as well as my primary care physician. I thought I had my doctor sorted but nope. Tomorrow I will be dealing with the pharmacist who is also co-owner of the pharmacy that I have been a consumer of for nearly 28 years, the pharmacy just over a year. There is a fire burning inside me after the way this pharmacist sees fit to assume that I am going to tolerate his unprofessional conduct toward me. I take the position of it’s my job to educate him about both myself and his unacceptable behaviors. Worse yet that he has directed his staff to behave in the same manner. People with whom I have no problem with until as I say a couple of months ago. While I am awaiting further testing to verify that my condition(s) are worsening, my doctor has permitted early release. He has made several errors that have caused delays, and embarrassment to me, consequently my being treated as an addict in the pharmacy. So … amid all the battles between the government in Canada around these medications, the physicians, pharmacists and the medical profession in general … I am but one of many caught in the crossfire of fear based actions.

  4. I’m trying to get back into full time and all the blogs just about scare the **** out of me as to what is going on out there. The DEA is suddenly out of control and legitimate pain patients are looked upon as street junkies. I’m willing to speak/write my state/federal legislator on this issue. Since the lawyers don’t seem that interested, how about some more media attention. Stories of what people are really going through and not just in FL. Maybe the WSJ would run some more stories since they ran the one about Joe, or John Stossal, or Judge Napalitano. Let them show how the DEA has gotten out of control. Let them ask on camera representatives why so many of their legit constituents are having to pharmacy shop. There’s already alot of ‘bad drug’ ads on TV to where no one pays attention to them anymore. The public needs to see the legitimate pain patient. All we see on TV is the bad docs and the true addicts. The state boards I feel are intimidated by the DEA, PBMs, and big evil chains. Maybe they should be elected instead of appointed. Restricting access or quantities won’t work…just like gun control… concern is for my legit patient and I wil fill it without the twenty questions. (and a good attorney just in case)

  5. Pharmacist Steve, would you be willing to join forces with Fight for Florida Pain Care Action Network to help end this travesty? We need pharmacists physicians and clinicians to help us. There’s strength in numbers. Look up the group on Facebook or contact Donna.

  6. Believe it or not, I have contacted every law firm that I could find who does class action lawsuits and no response, just sorry we don’t handle that. I even had a friend that is a retired judge that worked in another state, but lives in FL now. He tried to get some of his attorney buddies together to try and take the case. It seems that no one wants to fight this battle for the legitimate pain patients. I have even contacted the ACLU and nothing there either. What happened to American civil rights, or humanitarian rights? What is happening is here is cruel and inhumane. I keep hearing that Marijuana is coming through to be legal soon for medical use but honestly, who wants to be stoned on pot 24/7? How would a patient be able to hold a job like that? No for me to MJ. I don’t care if MJ is legal, in fact it should be. That’s fine but NOT for all people with pain. Sorry about that. Maybe good for those that are bedridden.
    Many patients are trying to hold a job and I just heard from a lady yesterday, that her husband just got fired because he was out of work for 2 weeks from severe withdraws and extreme pain. Guess why? because no pharmacy would fill his legal Rx. This isn’t going to help the economy. It’s going to add more people on disability and their kids need to be fed so there goes more debt.
    Anymore ideas? I wonder why more doctors, pharmacists and caregivers won’t speak out with chronic pain patients? I don’t know anyone else that could make a difference. I took a group to the state capital back Sept 2012 and maybe this needs doing again closer to the governor election. Washington DC. is always late on hearing how they screwed up on things. All this is going to spread across the nation if we don’t do something soon about it.
    JMO.. So very sad.

  7. The denial of drugs to the very ill patient is ‘torture’. It seems the DEA is bent on torturing people in the name of preventing drug diversion. There will always be drug diversion. Since the DEA has lost the war on drugs, they have now turned their attention to law abiding pharmacies and cutting off their drug supply. It will take awhile, but it will eventually sink into the American psyche about what is taking place. The vast number of Baby Boomers that will need pain medications will result in the DEA eventually being put in their place. We have too many laws and too many regulations. We need to get the government off our back and leave us alone. We have too much of the NANNY state. Government has decided it is our ‘mother’ and has lost all sense of proportion and what government is and is not. We have too many people being paid to make our lives miserable. The way to reduce the deficit is to fire 90% of the government workers and politicians.

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