CDC wants to tell your doctor how to treat – or not treat – your chronic pain.

Take Our Survey About the CDC Opioid Guidelines

By Pat Anson, Editor

As we’ve been reporting over the last several days, chronic pain patients had little role or voice in the development of opioid prescribing guidelines recently announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The guidelines for primary care physicians are aimed at reducing rates of addiction and overdose, but they are likely to lead to further restrictions on the prescribing of opioid pain medication for both acute and chronic pain.

The CDC recommends “non-pharmacological therapy” and other types of pain relievers as preferred treatments for chronic non-cancer pain. Smaller doses and quantities of opioids are recommended for patients who continue using the drugs.  A complete list of the guidelines can be found here.

While the CDC is no longer accepting public comment on the guidelines, your opinion matters to us and it’s not too late to let your feelings be known.

Pain News Network and the Power of Pain Foundation are joining forces to conduct a survey of pain patients to see what they think of the CDC’s guidelines.

To take our quick survey, click here.

“As pain patients, we already have major roadblocks in our health care system to get access to proper and timely treatment. I predict these new CDC guidelines will have a devastating impact on our pain care,” says Barby Ingle, founder and president of the Power of Pain Foundation. “Many more people will suffer from arbitrary guidelines set by a panel of people who are not in the everyday trenches with pain patients. These guidelines force the same care for all. We are not all the same.

“Taking our survey about the CDC’s opioid prescribing guidelines gives patients a voice in this process. Raise your voice and be heard, something that was not done when the guidelines were drafted. Share your story, share your experiences and share what it’s like to live in the pain community as the expert of your pain.”

Some of the questions we’re asking include whether you think opioids are overprescribed;  what effect the guidelines will have on rates of addiction and overdoses;  whether pain patients should be required to take urine drug tests; and if the guidelines discriminate against pain sufferers.

In addition to taking the survey, Ingle says it’s time for pain sufferers to step up and be better advocates for themselves.

“We must participate in studies and surveys on this topic, and write letters to those trying to dictate our lives and what appropriate care should be,” she says. “The only way to ensure access to proper and timely care is to keep the relationship between the patient and their providers.”

The CDC is planning to release the prescribing guidelines in January.  Although voluntary, some experts predict the guidelines could quickly be adopted by state health departments and licensing boards, making them “standards of practice” for physicians.

But CVS customers will be able to get Naloxone within 24 hours

naloxone narcan 1.jpg

Possible heroin overdose inside Lancaster city CVS

Has anyone noticed that it has been all over the various news media that CVS was going to have Naloxone in stores for pts.. Maybe I mis-read all of those press releases or maybe they just INFERRED that Naloxone would be IN STOCK in their stores.  The statement in this new article states that Naloxone would be available TO ORDER.. next day availability.  Apparently, they don’t want to put themselves into the position of one of their Pharmacists refusing to provide Naloxone to a pt like it is described in this article, because the person is unconscious and unless the Pharmacist wants to “frisk” the pt for $50 to pay for the Naloxone… taking it out of stock and administering it to such a pt would be considered theft on the part of the Pharmacist.  Which could cause the Pharmacist to be FIRED. OR, a Pharmacist that believes/feels that addicts deserve whatever outcome they get themselves into… All of these possible “feel good” press releases could be undone with one such incident.

A 20-year-old man likely overdosed on heroin Friday inside the bathroom of a CVS drug store in Lancaster city, police said. 

He was revived by the heroin antidote naloxone, though it did not come from the pharmacy even though CVS announced last week that all of its Pennsylvania drug stores would be carrying the life-saving drug.

He was revived by emergency responders who now carry the drug for heroin and other opiate overdoses.

A CVS spokesman said today that naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, would not be kept in stock. “But CVS customers will be able to get it within 24 hours,” said the spokesman, Michael DeAngelis. 

CVS announced last week that its stores in Pennsylvania and 13 other states would carry naloxone and would make it available to customers without a doctor’s prescription.

However, DeAngelis said today, the drug probably would not be in high enough demand to keep it on the shelves.

“It’s an emergency product and people that are interested in it will be able to get it in a day,” said DeAngelis. “Part of the protocol that we put in place calls for the pharmacists to receive training on how to administer the drug and to be able to educate the customer.” 

He said the cost would be around $50 without insurance, much lower than auto injector kits of naloxone that can cost more than $700 at some pharmacies.

 According to reports from store personnel and Lancaster City Police, a young man entered the CVS store at 32 W. Lemon St. on Friday and then went into a bathroom and locked the door.  

Emergency personnel were called at around 7:30 p.m.

The man was treated at the scene and then transported to the LGH emergency room. He reportedly survived.

DeAngelis said the type of incident that occurred at the Lancaster CVS was unfortunate but very rare for one of their stores. CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, is America’s leading retail pharmacy with over 7,800 locations.

Another causality of the “war on drugs” and chronic disease issues ?

A Personal Message From Ken McKimSo, good news and bad news on the home-front (don’t worry, my wife Corina is doing okay). As always, we will pick ourselves up and move forward.My Patreon Page: GoFundMe Page:

Posted by Don’t Punish Pain on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#DEA we just enforce the rules… obeying the rules ???

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">DEA agents have received only short suspensions for failing drug tests, new documents show.</span>

DEA Employees Fail Drug Tests, Shockingly Face No Serious Consequences

New documents reveal lax discipline at the agency.

A number of federal employees with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have failed drug tests over the past five years, only to receive short suspensions or other minor reprimands, newly released documents reveal.

According to a Huffington Post review of internal DEA discipline logs, first uncovered by USA Today over the weekend, there have been at least 16 reported instances of employees failing random drug tests since 2010. While a number of these incidents were handled administratively, with a few people choosing to resign or retire amid the proceedings, none of the cases ended in an employee’s outright firing. The agency punished most employees with short suspensions, sometimes as little as one or two days.

The DEA’s drug policy states that applicants who “experimented with or used narcotics or dangerous drugs, except those medically prescribed for you, will not be considered for employment,” though it makes exceptions for “limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana.” The agency conducts random drug testing throughout an employee’s career.

The discovery comes amid broader findings of routine misconduct and paltry disciplinary action at the DEA.

USA Today reporters Brad Heath and Meghan Hoyer found that, from 2010 through 2015, DEA employees have avoided getting fired despite serious violations of agency policy, including distribution of drugs, falsifying official records and having an “improper association with a criminal element.” And in the few cases in which administrators did recommend termination, the DEA’s Board of Professional Conduct often reduced sanctions to suspensions or lower forms of discipline and even required the agency to rehire problem employees.

Carl Pike, a former DEA internal affairs investigator who went on to lead the agency’s Special Operations Division for the Americas before retiring in December, explained to USA Today that it was incredibly rare for someone to get fired for misconduct.

“If we conducted an investigation, and an employee actually got terminated, I was surprised,” he said. “I was truly, truly surprised. Like, wow, the system actually got this guy.” 

Indeed, a closer look at the internal log turns up numerous examples of disturbing behavior being punished with suspensions of a few days, at most. From 2010 through 2015, HuffPost found 62 instances of an employee losing or stealing a firearm; more than 30 violations for driving while intoxicated, including four while driving a government-owned vehicle and one that involved a hit-and-run; two occasions in which employees deprived individuals of their civil rights; nine instances of employees losing or stealing drug evidence; 10 cases in which agents lost or stole a defendant’s property; four violations for committing fraud against the government, two of which were punished by a letter of caution; and two more general violations of DEA policy on drug use. The DEA didn’t fire anyone as a direct result of these actions.

The DEA has faced intense scrutiny for its handling of discipline in the wake of a string of high-profile scandals at the agency. The criticism came to a head earlier this year with the revelation that agents stationed abroad attended cartel-funded sex parties involving prostitutes.

According to a report from the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General at the time, the seven DEA agents who admitted to attending the events were punished with suspensions, ranging from two to 10 days. Former DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, who resigned shortly after the scandal, also admitted that some of the agents were in fact promoted sometime between the sex parties and the end of the investigation.

Bring Elite Medical Pain Management Clinic to Kentucky: pain care for Kentucky’s suffering

Bring Elite Medical Pain Management Clinic to Kentucky: pain care for Kentucky’s suffering

Are you or someone you love suffering from pain in Kentucky? We at Elite Pain Management want to provide Kentucky residents with the proper pain care they deserve. We are already licensed to practice in Kentucky, but want to garner the public’s support and demonstrate both the need and the desire for our presence in Kentucky, with this petition. We know it’s Southern tradition to be invited before you arrive!

We at Elite know that medical management of pain is a valuable and effective part of some patients’ path to regaining quality of life, and we know that this essential part of pain care is being denied to many legitimate patients. We assess patients thoroughly, and find the source of your pain. We then create a personalized plan to treat your pain. We utilize medications safely and responsibly for patients whom we feel they benefit. Our world-class pain treatment team recognizes and sympathizes with the suffering that chronic pain patients endure—not only from their physical pain but also from peers and often from their own doctors, hospitals, media, and society, and we know that Kentucky patients have it especially hard, in the current legal climate.

We are knowledgeable in every arena of pain and pain treatment, and our doctors and staff are Board Certified pain specialists, who prescribe responsibly. We understand the importance of establishing positive doctor-patient relationships, building an environment of trust, compassion, and understanding which forms a strong foundation for patient progress. As a part of our foundation, we have included a Patient Advocate on our Board, who can facilitate patient self-help, as well as contribute insight to our providers on how to be sensitive and understanding to our patients. We accept all insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare. If you or someone you love needs our help, please sign our petition to demonstrate that you support our presence in Kentucky.