Despite blistering cold winds, the
#RALLYAGAINSTPAIN in Washington DC held at the Ellipse on the National Mall area across from the White House was a success. The real heroes were the patients and their significant others that showed up from all corners of the US Map, from as far west as California all the way to Buffalo NY, Cincinatti OH, Richmond VI, and more. To think that these folks with daily severe chronic pain could even make this trek was an amazing feat. And guess what?!?! I didn’t see a single governor, senator, congressman, or lawmaker. But, I am not surprised, because reality doesn’t bring media attention, votes, or revenue. And while I understand Congress isn’t in session, there were plenty of folks around, including CDC affiliates that were contacted and could have come. #OutofSiteOutOfMind.
I was honored for the opportunity to deliver an invited speech as one of several advocates, some of whom called in and had their voices amplified. By popular request, below is a copy of the speech I gave at the Ellipse today, October 22, 2016.
Two hundred and forty-one (241) years ago and 100 miles southwest of here, Patrick Henry said “give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”. Many victims gathered here today are contemplating death, others that have not made it here have chosen death, and all because they have been stripped of their liberty.
My name is Dr. Jeffrey Fudin. I am a Clinical Pharmacist from Upstate NY. I’m delighted to be here today and I thank all of you for the opportunity to speak and advocate for patients that live daily with unrelenting physical and emotional pain, at least in part due to inadequate treatment resources and political rhetoric nationwide. I am disappointed that in our United States of America, it has actually come to this – that aching patients have to rally in this great nation’s Capitol to provide a much needed voice that heretofore has essentially fallen on deaf ears.
What makes this even more disheartening and personal for me is that I’ve cared for US Veterans for over 3 decades, the very people who made personal sacrifices to ensure our citizens are treated fairly and respectfully. And I want to remind all of us; citizens, lawmakers, politicians, and the media of our much cherished document which freed us as a nation of people, the Declaration of Independence that states; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Victims here today, suffering from pain day in and day out, and those caregivers that love them have been stripped of these coveted unalienable rights and in fact been ALIENATED if their pain treatment requires chronic opioid therapy.
Many here today have lost their independence…
They have NO LIFE to speak of
They have NO LIBERTY because they are captivated by pain
and any hope for pursuit of HAPPINESS has vanished.
In 1993, Dr. Ted Knox and colleagues demonstrated that Hispanics were about half as likely as Caucasians to receive pain medications for bone fractures of equal severity and that prescriptions for opioids to treat related pain was markedly disparate based upon race/ethnicity. Yet here we are today with some ironic equality – that is, regardless of skin color, when it comes to pain management, patients are treated equally poorly throughout this great nation.
Although access to opioid therapy is thought by many to be a civil right, there is a double-edged sword, because as a clinician involved in prescribing such medications, it also needs to be a privilege to ensure safety of patients and the community in which they live. Here within lies perhaps the most disregarded piece of the puzzle. That is, the majority of clinicians prescribing opioids do not have the education, time, or wherewithal to safely assess, document, and monitor these therapies. And those that do, have been largely intimidated by the recent CDC Guidelines, insurance companies, the media, and state regulatory agencies.
Some may argue that state bureaus of narcotic agencies do not or have not harassed their constituent physicians. I know differently. How do I know? Because each week I receive countless emails and telephone inquiries from attorneys, physicians and other healthcare providers with prescriptive privileges where their state has accused them of wrongdoing simply because names surfaced on a data report that indicated certain patients exceeded a predetermined daily morphine equivalent dose.
For any lawmakers or media persons out there today, I challenge you to provide any universally accepted morphine daily equivalent, a number that presumably could equate one opioid dose to another, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone or methadone, that is essentially equivalent to morphine. THERE IS NONE – and if you don’t believe me, get the presidential debate fact-checkers to help you out. I’m not saying that we can’t make an estimate, but what I am saying is that such an equivalent in not perfect and ignores patient individuality. In fact, almost two years ago, President Obama had the acumen to support precision medicine launching “an innovative approach to disease prevention and treatment that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles”.
To assume that opioid dosing is a one-size fits all (See One Size Opioid Dose Does Not Fit All to learn more), and to harass clinicians into squeezing their patients into such a mold, and to allow insurance providers to dictate doses is flat wrong and based on pseudoscience. This is clearly outlined in a recent publication in the Journal of Pain Research entitled, The MEDD (morphine equivalent daily dose) myth: the impact of pseudoscience on pain research and prescribing-guideline development.
I’m a doctor of pharmacy, and I well understand that this gathering cannot and should not be about opioids alone. It’s about what’s right and wrong medically, and about the needs of our citizens. It’s about access to good medical care, mandatory education by QUALIFIED teachers in colleges of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and the like. It’s not about 1-3 hours of mandatory continuing education for prescribers – that clearly is inadequate. It’s also about including the biopsychosocial aspects of treatment into a comprehensive treatment model that encompasses physical rehabilitation, behavior modification, and yes, APPROPRIATE ACCESS to medication when clinically indicated. And, our government should require insurance providers to cover opioids and other medications when deemed appropriate by a qualified prescriber, but also insurance companies should pay for non-medication therapies such as physical rehabilitation, diet and exercise programs, and alternative medicine to be used alone or combined with appropriate medication management. People should also have ready access to rehabilitation counseling for substance abuse disorder should things get out of hand with opioids or other abusable drugs – this needs to be treated as a disease, such that people in danger of opioid abuse don’t feel ashamed to seek help through counseling. Allowing insurance companies, a free pass to pay for the least expensive options, the most abusable of all opioid therapies and selectively excluding payment for any non-medication options, or to limit supportive therapy such as biofeedback or psychotherapy is plain wrong. If we believe that there is an opioid epidemic, it is at least in part because insurance companies have been allowed to dictate therapy without incurring any of the responsibility for outcomes. This paradigm is not limited to pain management – it has been accepted as a way of life across many medical conditions where treatment selection is dictated by medical coverage instead of the most appropriate options. Doctors are worn out and in many cases have given up and bow to the insurance company when better medical options are available, because if they don’t move on to the next patient, the next patient is affected.
To the suffering patients here today, your lives have been politicized by lawmakers and media muckrakers who know very little about chronic pain management. And for that you should be angry. Various medical clinicians and organized affiliates with little to no formal training in pain therapeutics have successfully manipulated political strategists into believing that opioids are synonymous with the devil. They have manipulated statistics, cited poor evidence, and avoided very real evidence in support of certain medication stratagems, including chronic opioid therapy for certain chronic pain conditions.
What are the issues?
First, it’s important to understand that we have two very real public health crises on our hands.
1. Opioid Abuse and diversion
2. Lack of opioid access to patients with excruciating chronic pain
It is high time to stop making pain patients suffer in ways that are aimed at but WILL NOT solve the opioid addiction problem in this nation!
What are the facts?
There are more yearly deaths from tobacco than by all combined deaths from HIV Disease, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. Yet, our government complacently turns a blind eye because of tax revenue from cigarette sales tax, and the lobby against gun control is strong. My purpose for sharing these facts is not to take sides or create another debate here today, but simply to point out the irony of political decisions surrounding opioid access at the expense of suffering among those in pain, all because of selfish personal or political agendas.
Annual NSAID-related deaths from gastrointestinal bleeds are about equal to that of illegally obtained prescription opioids – but alas, there is no black market, profitability from NSAID-rehab clinics, or sexy media initiatives to highlight these realities.
Many sources quote the misleading statement “Americans use 99% of the world’s hydrocodone”. But in Europe, dihydrocodeine is used instead and in Canada, hydrocodone is only available in cough and cold products. Most other countries use morphine for pain instead of hydrocodone. But these facts are purposefully avoided.
Politicians have advocated for dual prescribing of naloxone, and opioid reversal agent for patients receiving chronic opioids or for non-pain patients that have an opioid addiction disorder. They dwell on and even advertise support for such programs as do various large chain pharmacies that flaunt their pharmacists can provide this life-saving drug. But in a recent survey of over 100 pharmacies in upstate NY, over 70% did not carry this product because it simply isn’t prescribed or the pharmacists were not encouraged to advocate for such prescriptions. Again this is a façade that should be blasted wide open and exposed by professional organizations, and academic institutions should be in the forefront of such patient advocacy.
Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, which has become somewhat of a National Holiday, politicians had a field day criticizing 2 large pharmaceutical companies for advertising their drug which is FDA approved for opioid-induced constipation. The LA Times criticized the ad blaming Big Pharma for “hoping to profit from a controversial market that has arisen alongside the nation’s opioid addiction crisis”. The article went on to say that the ad has “drawn criticism from federal and local officials for not mentioning the issue of opioid addiction”.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin criticizing AstraZeneca and Daiichi-Sankyo said: “In the midst of America’s opiate and heroin addiction crisis the advertisement was not only poorly timed, it was a shameful attempt to exploit that crisis to boost your companies’ profits.” He went on to make the following request: “I ask that you immediately pull this advertisement – and others promoting this drug – from the air and instead use the money to fund opiate and heroin prevention efforts.”
THIS POLITICING SICKENS ME!
In reality, the advertisement did not advocate for opioid use; it simply advertised a legitimate product to combat a common side effect of chronic opioid therapy for patients that require these drugs to have some normalcy in their lives, but once again these patients were treated as some sort of scavengers.
Now, I ask all of you…
Where was the outrage from multiple beer commercials? Did Shumlin ask them to spend advert money on the dangers of drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, liver toxicity, or alcohol neuritis?
Similarly, PepsiCo had multiple ads during the Super Bowl. They make products such as Lays potato chips, Gatorade, Quaker, Tostitos, and Pepsi. Should PepsiCo be required to sponsor ads about obesity prevalence in America, diabetes, and associated morbidity and mortality.
Promoting simplistic policy responses to complex social issues rarely produces meaningful solutions. As the opioid clock ticks on and the figurative pendulum continues to swing from over prescribing to under prescribing opioids, legitimate patients are suffering, heroin abuse is rising, and suicides among chronic pain sufferers is at an all time high.
What is the solution?
There is no simple solution, but for certain it’s not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
There is a shortage of well-trained pain clinicians and many that have formal training in the specialty field are not medication therapeutics experts. Congress should support and encourage pharmacist clinicians to work side-by side with physicians and other medical providers. After years of lobbying and requests from professional pharmacy organizations, Congress should jump down from their high horse and do the right thing; grant pharmacists provider status so that physicians can afford to work side-by-side with the real therapeutics experts and bill for their services to manage medications in a clinic setting. (See Nobody Knows to learn more about pharmacists as providers.)
The American Academy of Pain Medicine Foundation created a Unity Circle emblem with the assistance of numerous pain advocacy organizations to amplify the voices of pain patients, survivors, and caregivers as they work to increase patient access to research, treatment, and care through public awareness. The Unity Circle provides a visual tool to assist advocates in reaching the shared desired goal: a sustainable model for funding and provider resources. See more HERE.
Medical providers must work in concert with behavior health clinicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other specialists, lawmakers, and patient advocacy groups to ensure our country provides compassionate access and care to the citizens of this great nation. There is no benefit to squabbling over pain versus addiction without looking for solutions, as limiting prescription opioid access for legitimate patients has proven to be a miserable failure for everyone involved.
In closing, I challenge lawmakers, medical providers, and scholars to work in concert to improve legitimate access to opioids for those that really need them and to keep them out of the hands of those that do not. Help us to restore the rights of pain patients such that they may once again embrace their unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
As always, comments are encouraged and welcome!
43 thoughts on “Rally Against Pain in Washington DC was a Success”
I’ve just had a forced withdrawal of my methadone as my young pain management prescriber is afraid that she’ll lose her license. I had two reconstructive foot surgeries back to back and my podiatrist prescribed Percocet. The pharmacy called her to make her aware when I took my recent methadone prescription in, so she said that’s all she can do. Prescribed clonidine for withdrawal symptoms, Celebrex and lyrica (which my work comp company is deciding whether they will pay for, now two weeks out).
I have Percocet in the cabinet as well as some methadone left, but have tapered myself from 20mg/day to 10mg/day for a week, now crushed 1/2 tabs for a couple days. Afraid to take them, now.
Having severe nerve pain in my leg, which is constant. Worried how I’ll return to work; fortunately, off for 2 months for summer. I’m an LVN at a school district.
I was initially hurt on the job at a hospital, lifting a patient, 2007. Pain meds were a necessary part of my daily life, allowing me to function normally. Then, as policy changes affected prescribers, sent to pain management. Drug tested, seriously? Treated as an addict. Told not to use my cbd/thc tinctures; and no alcohol whatsoever. Like a child or an addict.
Thank you for all your efforts, Dr. Fudin, and company. However, it’’s now June 2021. There will not, I fear, be an end to the persecution of pain patients and responsible prescribers.
It is not truly nor fundamentally about pain; Pain per se is simply a Medium or Vehicle that the person (Injured, Wounded, or Diseased Subject) is being Tormented Day in and Day out: BY the Nature of the Condition, Dysfunction, Inflammation, Disintegration, Disorientation, Disequilibrium, Disharmony, etc. etc. that Invaded—into a person’s body, body parts, and body systems that—mostly AROSE from Bodily Injuries; which majority of the time these Merciless, Harmful, Destructive, Malevolent, and Vicious Injuries are the PRIME CAUSATION from the Direct Hands/Bodies/Actions of Others that Inflicted upon an Innocent, Lively, and Vibrant Person!
Okay, now, I can go ahead to focus on the subject matter of the “Critical and Necessary: ‘Do No Harm’ concept and Practice—that NOT ONLY PERSISTENTLY, DESTRUCTIVELY, and MALEVOLENTLY—NOT BEING: ETHICALLY, KINDLY, MERCIFULLY, VITALLY, and FUNDAMENTALLY CARRIED OUT—BY MORE THAN 99.999999999% of the World Wide 7 something Billion People on Planet Earth; but also by the “So-called” Government and Healthcare agencies: on a City, County, State, and Country, etc. etc. Levels!
The truth is “a Healthy, Harmonized, and Equilibratory: Body, Body Functions, Body Compartments, Body Systems, Body Vitality, and Body Well-Being—DO NOT and SHALL NOT AUTOMATICALLY became ‘DISINTEGRATED, DYSFUNCTIONAL, WOUNDED/INJURED, etc. on IT’S OWN WITHOUT: EXTERNAL HARMFUL FACTORS or HARMFUL ACTIONS’ that Done or being Carried out ‘BY THE VERY NATURE of the HARMFUL, DESTRUCTIVE, and EVIL’ HANDS/BODIES/ACTIONS (DESIRES) OF OTHERS!”
With that being said, we as Human Beings (or Incarnated as Human Beings) in this Planet Earth Dimension or the 3D Matrix World and Space; “it is Our Fundamental, Merciful, and Sacred Duty to Do No Harms to Others, especially to human beings that we never met nor related to!”
Another crucial point that needed to be addressed: is that “Accidents Do Not Happen and Shall Not NEEDED TO HAPPEN; at least it happened on an EXTREMELY RARE OCCASION! The True and Accurate application of accident is between Nature and Man; as opposed to from Man to Man! Yet, the Insurance Industry, the Government and County Agencies, etc. etc.; and “the Ignorant, Uneducated, Unwise, Unknowledgeable, Un-Pure, Corrupted, Twisted, Dark, Discord, Distorted, and Malevolent society as a whole—KEEP TWISTING the FACTS, TRUTHS, and EVIDENCE of Harmful, Merciless, and Destructive Bodily Injuries/Wounds—and then blindly, deafly, unwisely, Un-purely, and Malevolently FOCUSING on this accident NONSENSE!
Whether you wanted/desired to CAUSE a Person TO HAVE Physical/Bodily Injuries/Wounds/Torments (aka: Do Harms to a Person) or simply and essentially: You Do Not Desired to Cause a Person TO HAVE Physical/Bodily Injuries/Wounds/Torments (aka: Do No Harms to a Person)! Therefore, every single harmful, destructive, senseless, merciless, and malevolent incident(s) happened to a person as a result of others’ Harmful, Destructive, Merciless, Vicious, and Malevolent: Hands/Bodies/Actions (Desires) is the SUBJECT MATTER of “Ethics, Mercy, Kindness, Order, Honor, Harmony, and Justice” as opposed to this “so-called” accident NONSENSE!
With a Heart, Mind, and Soul of Ethics, Kindness, Mercy, etc. etc.., no one shall have to and needed to have to SUFFER, and being TORMENTED DAY IN and DAY OUT from their bodily Injuries/Wounds or Dysfunctions that arose from the bodily injuries incident(s) as a result of others’ Harmful and Malevolent: Hands/Bodies/Actions!
On the other hand, bodily wounds arose from injuries/dysfunctions do not and cannot be properly nor authentically remedied by pain medications, let alone medications per se do produced too many unwanted and harmful side effects! So, why there are still so many patients or people still wanted pain medications!
Nevertheless, there are many other: and “much more authentic and viable methods to maximally reduce body inflammation, disintegration, dysfunction, disharmony, disequilibrium, etc. etc.; so that patients can and will manifest their “Highest—Health, Vitality, and Well-being given the nature of conditions they undergone!”
—By Amy LifeStar, HD & Ethicist
Where can I find the on-line rally held in WDC? We were unable to make the rally due to pain but would love to see it on-line. Please keep up the great work and thank you again for being such a wonderful advocate for all pain sufferers!
Chronic Pain Suffer, You may use the following link to access videos of the speakers at the rally.
Enjoy the videos.
Thank you Dr. Fudin for your phenomenal work, your courage to speak out and your devotion and sacrifice for the chronic pain community! Everything you said and wrote in your speech could not have been more accurately presented. I continue to hold out hope and pray that the day is soon coming that all of our combined advocacy efforts will increase our numbers so greatly and lift our voices so loud, that the “powers that be” cannot continue ignoring and harming the American Pain Patient.
Wonderful speech! I wish I could have been there to hear it. Thank you for all your work advocating for pain sufferers! You are an inspiration!
Thank you for being our voice, such a powerful speech. Much appreciation!
Jeff, I would like to invite you to my next webinar on The REAL Cause of Drug Abuse. I believe I have the solution to the problem of both the “heroin epidemic” and the problem chronic pain patients have receiving their medication. I believe that the only way they are going to have necessary treatment in the future is to get this word out that I offer. I will announce when the next webinar series will be on my website, http://www.doctorsofcourage.org. Please join me, and anyone else reading this.
God bless each and every one of you that was involved in making this happen.
From A Chronic Pain Sufferer
That was great. I am so grateful to you for your tireless efforts to amplify the voice of the chronic pain community. I wish I could have been there!
If the Rally Against Pain was only about ensuring continued access to opioids for pain patients, then it missed the mark. Pain patients are denied affordable access to many treatments that could help them, including physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, psychotherapy, exercise programs, medical marijuana and many others. Why not advocate for pain patients’ access to all the treatments that can help them?
Please read my speech more closely and you will see that we don’t disagree. It says in part, “…I well understand that this gathering cannot and should not be about opioids alone. It’s about what’s right and wrong medically, and about the needs of our citizens. It’s about access to good medical care, mandatory education by QUALIFIED teachers in colleges of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and the like. It’s not about 1-3 hours of mandatory continuing education for prescribers – that clearly is inadequate. It’s also about including the biopsychosocial aspects of treatment into a comprehensive treatment model that encompasses physical rehabilitation, behavior modification, and yes, APPROPRIATE ACCESS to medication when clinically indicated. And, our government should require insurance providers to cover opioids and other medications when deemed appropriate by a qualified prescriber, but also insurance companies should pay for non-medication therapies such as physical rehabilitation, diet and exercise programs, and alternative medicine to be used alone or combined with appropriate medication management.”
Do you have a clue how hard it is to even get out of bed or put socks on or wipe your ass ??? I am in such pain I cry because I cant wipe my ass without excruciating pain , I have to take a break in between washing my hair because I can’t even wash my hair completely without hang in my hands down because my shoulders are burning so bad so don’t you talk to anybody about going to physical therapy and all that other crap you don’t have a clue
That was a rally topic, there are many facets to this issue of stopping pain patients medications. Especially because almost ALL of the modalities you mentioned (besides limited physical therapy) that can be used as an adjunct to pain management are NOT covered by insurance companies. They are also quite expensive out of pocket which the majority of people CANNOT afford! Therefore, patients, whom already tried epidurals, nerve blocks & surgery without success, there currently is NO alternatives available to the masses. In addition, the pain rally and chronic pain patients are about MUCH MORE than just medication. It’s about continued medical research, new/non addictive medication choices, comprehensive pain management care that should encompass ALL of the above mentioned things while being PAID for by our high insurance premiums. The current state of affairs in chronic pain management however, does not include much else besides opioids & the few other invasive procedures mentioned earlier, so you cannot simply decide to remove the only option for countless thousands leaving people in crippling pain. People have lost jobs & are forced to fight for disability, others are now unable to care for their families or even themselves. Physicians are abandoning patients leaving them in horrific pain without any direction, help to titrate or even a referral to another physician willing to treat them.
What a tremendous speech! Job well done Dr. Fudin! Thank you for continuing to stand up for what is right and acknowledging the need for provider status! You are an inspiration to all!
I just wanted to add my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Fudin not only for an exceptional speech, but for his continued voice on our behalf. I’d also like to say a special thanks to Lana Kirby for her tireless advocacy work along with the others whom I’m sure all worked hard helping Lana to organize this successful event!
Thanks so much to all that attended wish I could have so many of us want to just scream what’s wrong with u Dea cdc lord willing things will improve for all with pain and having medicine without jumping through hoops or all the other hardships that go with getting some relief will not continue
Thank You Dr. Fudin for braving the wind and cold to speak so eloquently at the Rally,,My Husband Rick was a little in the dark about some things but in the end due to all of You who laid out everything so that we could understand it better, add the knowledge that you all possess made All of us understand so much more,,we will work hard to pass along all that we’ve learned on Saturday at the Rally,, Thank You all so much again
Thank you Dr. Fudin and to all the warriors who made it out. I was in severe pain and unable to drive 4 hrs and wish i could have been there, I pray our cries get heard, surely they all can’t be corrupt, there’s got to be a few good ones left who know what is being done to legitimate pain pts is an act of torture and they need to listen to their hearts and come forward and expose the corruption and witchhunt the government, DEA, CDC, FDA and PROP are tangled up in. For f*** sake innocent law abiding chronically ill citizens are being forced into a torturous hell, forced to the streets for relief or worse SUICIDE!! There is only so much ones body can take when living with multiple debilitating incurable diseases , from therapies, injections, steriods, surgeries, all kinds of meds, epidurals, water therapy, scs, massage, accupuncture, the list is endless, opiods are the last resort and if that is the one therapy that has finally offered me a QUALITY OF LIFE, why the hell am I being denied life saving pain medication!?!? How much more does my body have to take , how many more hoops!?!? Im done, my body is done, I am emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted!!!
Dr. Fudin, what a masterful speech! I hope that the powers that be actually listen to your well laid out points showing the hypocrisy that is alive and well in American government today. We appreciate your voice more than you can ever know.
Job well done, Dr. Fudin! This is an extremely sensitive area that many people try to avoid discussing about. However, this letter touches on the fundamental aspects of the opioid crisis and how to better advocate and come up with various solutions to combat the negative perception that surrounds this topic. The more people that become AWARE, the better this country will learn to face the major issues head-on rather than point fingers. Excellent work again. I really enjoyed reading this!
P.S. You most likely don’t know me, but I am a good friend of Mena Raouf. He always talks about how you are such a great pharmacist and teacher.
Spectacular presentation!!! As a current PGY1- pharmacy resident and an aspiring pain pharmacist, it is an inspiration to see such a renowned clinician speak up for pain patients, and go against the tide with the political war on opioids. Thank you for all you do Dr. Fudin, for being a voice of change, setting an example for the budding clinicians, and paving the way for pharmacist provider status!!
Thank you so much for your attendance and this wonderful speech! This is the best I’ve ever heard this situation described. Brilliant letter! I couldn’t be there but I so hope that I can go in the future. We need more professionals like you who really understand the situation pain patients are in. Thanks again. Tina
Thank you, Dr. Fudin, for being in D.C. today, advocating for all of us, and delivering a powerful speech.
My major concern, which I’m not hearing much about, is the government’s announcement that some time next year they will reduce our country’s stock of opiates/opioids by 25%. I believe that will be the last nail in the coffin for all of us chronic pain patients. Those of us fortunate enough to still have doctors writing our prescriptions for pain meds we’ve been on for years, decades, albeit in reduced amounts, and who’ve not been denied filling them by our pharmacies will add thousands, tens of thousands, more Americans to the millions already cut off, suffering, and dying.
A friend recently sent me a link to WHO’s website which clearly shows that morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are deemed, by international law, “essential medicines”– and that the treatment of pain, acute & chronic, are basic human rights. What’s being done to us is not only cruel & inhumane, it’s apparently illegal. Why has no one contacted the ACLU or private attorneys to address this via class action suits or whatever? Perhaps the courts could provide some protection, reverse some of the damage that’s already been done or, at the very least, block this stock reduction before it can happen because, I believe, once it does, it will take a miracle, or decades, or both to restore the amount of medications we need to ensure every American in severe pain for any reason and for any length of time can be relieved of suffering.
Pain is fundamental and universal. What is happening in the U.S. right now will eventually effect every man, woman, and child to some degree. I’d be interested to hear what you and other outspoken, high profile advocates for chronic pain patients think about this. Are there any plans in the works to stop the stock reduction? Kratom users and their advocates put the breaks on the DEA labeling Kratom as a Schedule 1 drug by raising their voices & gathering in D.C. Can’t we do the same somehow? There needs to be a laser focus right NOW on the proposed stock reduction! “Some time in 2017” could mean New Year’s Day, just over 2 months from now.
Thank you again for your support and, hopefully, for reading this. I will be overjoyed to hear I’m wrong, that this issue is being loudly acknowledged and addressed, that plans to stop it are in the works.
I have a long article in the works about the CDC’s collusion with the addictions treatment industry (specifically Phoenix House, which is/was in grave trouble). The fact that Tom Frieden is the former boss of Andrew Kolodny should have been enough for Kolodny to recuse himself from the Core Advisory Group, but he wasn’t about to lose such a golden opportunity to advance PROP’s agenda. When I’m done with it, I’m emailing it to every member of Congress. It was to be done on Fri morning at 7 AM so Lana Kirby could drop it off at the White House, but this thing threw a fit when I tried to look up some last-minute info…and for that, I sincerely apologise to all of you.
Many of us have reached out to the ACLU & Human Rights Watch. They do not see or care to see the true impact on so many. Why suggest others contact these organizations, instead of doing it yourself? I don’t ask to be rude but to point out the more individuals that contact these groups, show up at a rally, and/or write letters to county, state, and Federal agencies the louder our voice as a community becomes.
Dr. Fudin, your speech was inspiring and right on point. It was such a pleasure to meet you and have a small chat. I wish you the best of luck in the future and cannot say thank you enough for supporting all of us fighting not only pain but for our right to be humans & treated as such.
Frank, I agree with you, we are not hearing much, if anything about the reduction of opiods by 25% in 2017. I am very concerned over this matter, who knows when its going to happen, like you said 2017 is only 2 mos from.now! I have been fortunate to not have my meds taken away from.my Dr. but now I may have no choice if and when the government does this inhumane act!!! Idk what the answer is but contacting the ACLU is a good idea. Do you know if there is anything out there regarding this, like a petition, or where I can get more involved in this matter? Thanks for your help!
Thank YOU Doctor Fudin for going to Washington and speaking on our behalf. Also thank you Lana Kirby for puytthis rally together. We’re so glad it was a success!
I truly hope some day the lawmakers will hear the call for help.
Please keep up the great work all of you do for us. We all appreciate it more than you know. So many are suffering right Now. It’s so sad that pain relief has become such a political mess.
Thanks so much for all you are doing for us !
Thx to all the #RallyAgainstPain supporters and advocates!
I wish I could of been there in person! Sending support and best wishes from AZ!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Nice to meet you at the Rally, Dr. Fudin. Thank you for a very well grounded and engaging presentation with many points worth hearing both by chronic pain patients and by legislators who need to listen but likely won’t until chronic pain patients flood their offices with demands that they do.
Regards and well wishes
Red Lawhern, Ph.D.
Thank you for your continuing support and advocacy Dr. Fudin. I’m sorry not to have met you but hopefully we will meet later as we pursue similar and common goals in this fight about chronic pain! Your words are powerful.
Thank you Dr. Fudin for all you do to help patients you’ve never even met! You ARE appreciated!
Thanks, Dr Fudin, for being our voice once again. How I wish I could have been there today and got to meet you.
Wonderful speech, of course.
Bravo !!! Bravo!! Thank you Lana Kirby for organizing a successful rally!! Hard tireless work! Excellent speech Dr. Fudin, thank you for so eloquently addressing the issues, and consistently speaking out on behalf of pain patients! ! Thank you and big hugs to everyone who attended on behalf of all the under-served pain patients in America!
More to do!
We need to institute a class-action suit against Tom Frieden and his “Core Advisory Group”, since there’s strong evidence that the decision to regulate painkillers in this fashion was made long before Frieden convened his “nongovernmental” Core Advisory Group made up of PROP members (especially Jane Ballantyne, whose law firm specialises in suing opiate and opioid manufacturers).
Here! Here! Dr. Fudin! Great speech! I pray that the first march on WDC will start getting attention and change for chronic pain sufferers! I hope another rally will be scheduled soon and more will attend. Opioid medications are no different than insulin for diabetics or high blood pressure meds…all needed to control or treat symptoms of the disease they were meant to help! Opioids treat pain! It will NEVER cure pain but treat it so people have some kind of quality of life and have the unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness! My husband and I were not able to make the rally in WDC even though we so wanted to be a part of it. We had a protest in Montgomery, Alabama on Oct 19th to protest to the Alabama Medical Board 2 things….support of a good pain management doctor that lost her license for prescribing opioid pain medications to her patients and to protest for better pain management treatment. We had a small turn out but we did bring to light a few small victories. It is evident that those in charge do NOT care one bit for chronic pain sufferers. I agree that those that need addiction treatment should receive it but not at the expense of those of us who use our opioids responsibility! Their ignorance on the issues were very evident! They went as far as calling us all junkies and addicts. They told us that it was their mission to stop all opioid prescribing in the state of Alabama and to stop everyone from overdosing. If they had not said that to us, I would not have believed their ignorance!
I want to think you for being a pain advocate and speaking at the rally in WDC. I want to thank Lana Kirby for putting it together. I hope another one is in the works and that we can attend!
That has to be the most frightening thing I’ve heard on this subject – that it is the mission the Alabama Medical Board to end all opioid prescribing in a blindly ignorant effort to stop opioid overdosing. Although it’s obvious that politicians desperately need to be educated on this subject, it’s now more obvious that the medical community needs to be educated. It’s like determining that no one should be allowed to drive a car because some drivers are careless or drunk and cause accidents. Equally ignorant.
I hope you will be able to shed light on this appalling and unacceptable situation, possibly thru social media attention in addition to rallies and protests.
Best wishes to you.
Thankyou Dr Fudin for youre inspired words and your time and effort to do what is right for so many in pain whos natural right to pain relief has been taken away by government without due process or any process, for that matter. Our cause is just and our movement will grow and grow and our voices will grow until they will be heard and government will concede to right reason and ensure that our right to pain care is honored.
Jeff-what a tremendous presentation. Congratulations on being such an advocate for those with pain.
Please let us know when the next rally might be so we can encourage even more participation.
Thank you Marsha. You’ll be among the first to know!!!