by Ed Coghlan
Hundreds of chronic pain patients, very frustrated by the federal government, will travel to Washington D.C.,on October 22nd to hold a rally.
The idea was spawned by Lana Kirby, an Indiana chronic pain patient, and others who have been impacted by how states have reacted to the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline.
“There are people who desperately need pain medication who either are being denied access or have had their prescriptions reduced,” she said.
The rally is attracting a number of patient and patient advocates including Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, Terri Lewis, PhD and pain advocate Lindsay Baran. (Lewis and Baran have written for the National Pain Report.)
“It is our hope that having people come in from as far away as California and Florida will prove to the government that the need exists to put a balance back into this issue,” she said. “People are being harmed.”
It’s not just a rally. Organizers are trying to get meetings with CDC and health officials prior to the march. In particular, they’d like to meet with CDC Director, Dr. Thomas Frieden who has not responded.
Two other CDC officials have been invited to the rally and have yet to accept the invitation to come and discuss the issues with the patients.
We asked Ms. Kirby about the timing of the meeting, in late October when Congress will be in recess and not in Washington D.C.
“We felt it was important to make this statement before the election about the importance of restoring a balance in how pain patients are being treated,” she said.
The anger—and it’s fair to call it that among chronic pain patients and family members–revolves around the reduction in opioid prescriptions AND the fact that no alternative treatments have been promoted in the wake of the CDC guideline.
The Rally will be held at The Ellipse in President’s Park beginning at 10 a.m. and will last all day.
“It’s not a walk since many of our people can’t walk,” Kirby pointed out. “It’s time to make a statement, and the beginning of a real difference in how pain patients are treated.”