Drug Czar to Appear on 60 Minutes 12/13/15: Will Pain Meds Be Targeted Again?

Drug Czar to Appear on 60 Minutes 12/13/15: Will Pain Meds Be Targeted Again?

60 Minutes, is returning to the topic of drugs and addiction in America on December 13th, this time featuring the Administration’s Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli.

In November, 60 Minutes produced a segment about heroin addiction and laid the blame for addiction mostly on opioid pain medication. The segment did not discuss what many pain advocates are trying to say – addiction and opioid use are not the same thing.  This fueled reaction throughout the country, which National Pain Report covered extensively.

According to a preview of tonight’s program, Botticelli, a recovering addict himself, will outline the Administration’s strategy for managing drug policy and addiction in America.

Many in the pain community have argued that the government’s policies and guidelines are headed down a path that will harm people in pain and those that treat them. A major concern is that the CDC’s draft guidelines for prescribing pain medication will limit access to care.

On Friday, the CDC, feeling pressure from pain patients, decided to re-open its draft Guidelines for Prescription Opioids for Chronic Pain for a second period of public comment. This has advocates somewhat hopeful, as they widely criticized the CDC for creating the guidelines with input primarily from special interests, and little from the pain community.

NOTE: The public can comment on the CDC’s Guidelines beginning Monday, December 14, 2015, at http://www.Regulations.gov.  Comments will close January 13, 2016.

Will Botticelli continue the stance that equates prescription opioid medication to heroin addiction?  Will he address the needs of those who rely on opioids for managing chronic pain?

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Authored by: Staff

There are 26 comments for this article
  1. Scott michaels at 6:10 pm

    kaiser is set up and ready to go. thier so called pain mgt.dept is already doing these guidelines. i demanded my primary help ne of refer me to another dr our of kaiser. insurance companies will not pay for the drugs if they.dont have to so these people better wisen up. pain mgt doctors are.scared.to death of the dea shutting them down. the paper work for each.patient is crazy and when ever they prescribe they must send in reports why the are prescribing opioids. im in CA THE MOST LENIENT. . THIS IS REAL FOLKS. IM MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE ELDERLY AND THE VETS. THE VETS WILL GET THE BRUNT OF THE GUIDELINES. THEN THE OBAMACARE INSURANCE and the medicare PEOPLE. THE GOVT IS TREATING US LIKE JUNKIES AND CRIMINALS
    NO COMPASSION AT ALL. SO I HOPE PEOPLE WRITE IN .. DO IT FOR THE GUY WHO LOST HIS LEG TRYING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY OR THE GAL THAT GOT BLOWN UP BY A GRENADE.

  2. BL at 3:53 pm

    Scott michaels, I wonder if it saying the guidelines are intended for “family physicians or internists” some people think that Pain Management Drs won’t go by it ? It also states “The Guideline is not a federal regulation; adherence to the Guideline will be voluntary.” Maybe some people think it won’t apply to them, which is a huge mistake.

    With there supposedly being so many millions of chronic pain patients that are being affected by new regulations and guidelines, one would think that there would be more comments. If there aren’t at least a million comments by the end of the period, I stand by what i have been saying that the majority of chronic pain patients are receiving adequate treatments and getting their meds.

  3. Scott michaels at 11:01 am

    to RN
    IF YOU NEEDED INSULIN OR SYNTHROID DAILY TO SURVIVE WOULDNT YOU PROTECT IT? GRANTED MOST OF US WONT DIE BUT THEY WILL LOSE ANY QUALITY OF LIFE THEY HAVE. THEY AMD ME WILL BE BACK IN BED. I CANT LIFT MY HEAD MORE THEN AN INCH OFF MY.PILLOW UNTIL I TAKE A PILL. I CANT USE A PATCH IM ALERGIC TO THE ADHESIVE.
    ENOUGH ABOUT YOU AND YOU NON COMPASSIONATE. ATTITUDE.
    TO THE REST OF YOU…..
    STOP COMPLAINING ON THESE SITES. WE KNOW WE HURT.
    GO TAKE YOU COMMENTS TO THE CDC. ONLY 65 COMMENTS WERE MADE YESTERDAY. WE NEED TENS OF THOUSANDS! SO I SUGGEST WRITE SEVERAL COMMENTS. ASK YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME. I AM GOING TO PAIN MGT OFFICES TOMORROW WITH FLYERS ASKING PE5OE TO WRITE IN.
    MOST PAIN PATIENTS DONT K OW THEIR MEDS CAN AND WILL BE CUT UP TO 90%. THAT MEANS FOR SOME ONE LIKE ME HIGH DOSE HIGH TOLERANCY. WILL ONLY GET 2/3 OF JUST THE BREAK THRU.MEDS. ALL EXTENDED.RELEASE WILL BE GONE. 75% of my meds gone. it took my dr over a year to get the doses.right. i went back to work, i was ablse to play with grandkids enen help.my wife around the house. that.will all be gone. so i will live in such agonizimg pain, my life will be worthless. Today i say would never ever use street drugs. EVER! If these guidelines go thru i cant presict what i would do to releave my pain. soPLEASE PLEASE PLEASE . SET A GOAL OF 100 COMMENTS. KEEP IN MIND PROP IS HAVING.ALL THEIR JUNKIES IN REHAB WRITTING LETTERS TOTALLY AGAINST US. IMAGIME THAT THE JUNKIES THAT.CAUSED THIS MISERY UPON US ARE AFFECTING OUR LIVELY HOOD.

  4. Kristine (Krissy) at 7:36 am

    One of the big problems I see every day as I read articles about pain is that a lot of studies are very (too) small. In this study, where medical personnel were given 20 questions to find out how much knowledge they had about the affects of Oxy, only 78 professionals were given the test. Then it was published in a high-level anesthesiology newsletter. This is going on everywhere. We should find out how easy or difficult it is to make a study and publish it and report on that. It just seems wrong to me.

    http://www.anesthesiologynews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d=Pain+Medicine&d_id=2&i=December+2015&i_id=1256&a_id=34415

  5. Kristine (Krissy) at 5:57 pm

    Dear RN, it’s not about “protecting our drugs”! It’s about being recognized in the discussion!

  6. BL at 5:40 pm

    RN, I don’t agree with you. A dr finding another job is easy compared to having their medical license suspended due to disciplinary actions and/or an investigation. Drs keeping patients happy isn’t a priority any longer.

  7. RN at 4:25 pm

    I am always amazed at how protective ‘pain patients’ are of their drugs and the amount of fear they have of loosing their drugs.

    What he was talking about was over prescribing of pain meds. A lot of this occurs because corporations have taken over medical practice. Patients have become clients and Dr’s are forced to keep them happy or risk being fired due to patient complaints because they did not get the drugs they want.

  8. BL at 2:42 pm

    Pain Patient. this is the attitude of new drs and it is one of the reasons why chronic pain patients are going to have a harder time in the future trying to obtain pain management that includes opiates. I also see in the next 15-20 years, if that long, chronic pain patients rarely being treated with opiates.

  9. Pain Patient at 2:02 pm

    Didn’t see the show, didn’t have to. I just returned from a wedding, (which is why I didn’t see the show), which was a four hour drive away from our home. The drive took over six, because we had to stop so many times because I can’t sit in a car that long. Too much pain, too many cuts on my meds. While at the wedding I was talking to a brand spanking new doctor. We got on the subject of chronic pain, and I couldn’t believe what came out of his mouth! “It is horrible that so many people rely on opioids for pain control. They are psychologically addicted, and the worst patients.” When I asked him how many hours of med school did he study chronic pain, or any pain, the answer was zero. When I asked him how he knew so much about the abuse and how opioid usage in chronic pain patients lead to stronger and more dangerous drugs, he could not answer me. This is a brand new doctor, studying at Bethesda, in the military. Oh lord, help us all!

  10. Cynthia at 1:27 pm

    OMG Mona!!! That was the most unreal thing I have ever read regarding pain meds. Holy smokes! They are coming after us with a vengeance. I told my pain doc that I am so very scared.

  11. Emily Ullrich at 9:23 pm

    Regarding the information in the 60mins piece, I feel like positive progress is being made in regard to addiction, decriminalization and treatment instead of the ineffectual and damaging “War on Drugs” is unquestionably the way to go. However, the continuation of the “opioids as a ‘gateway’ to heroin use” propaganda HAS TO STOP. And more importantly, a definite distinction between recreational abuse and legitimate usage of opioids by pain patients MUST BE MADE! Chronic pain patients-the ones MOST AFFECTED by the stigma and prescribing restrictions are being left out of this essential component of the conversation, and we MUST #MakeOurVoicesHeard because #PainedLivesMatter!

  12. John S at 9:12 pm

    As I watched 60 minutes my first question was ; how does a former addict get that job ? It was alcohol and he’s been sober for over 20 years. Next, he said he was a homosexual living with his partner, okay I’m fine with that. Put the 2 together and he makes the perfect person for most any job in Washington DC. Its a very PC move for the DEA and the guy seems to really believe that the problem has been dealt with In the wrong manner for over 40 years and change is needed.

    I heard very little about the claims made about pain meds leading to HEROIN or what’s going to happen to the millions of us that depend on opioids to live a semi normal life. One fact they continue to get wrong is where the pain meds are coming from prior to hitting the streets. They seem to want to blame the patients that use the meds and not consider the real numbers. I’m not willing to bet money on the report I read but it seems like the most lucrative culprit. What I read was: over 75% of the opioids reaching the streets are stolen in bulk from the pharmacy and the manufacturer. This also includes hospitals and clinics. If you do some reading that covers just the last year it becomes clear the drugs are not from the medicine cabinet of the pain patient but from the same pharmacy that wont fill your script.

    The DEA’s drug Czar, Mr. Botticelli, was convincing but I believe that it was his job. Go on the show and come off looking like the DEA is really the good guy in all this and all they want to do is help. Call it a disease and get the person help, make the public understand that addiction can happen to anyone, lets treat the disease and stop putting people in jail for having a pain pill in their pocket or a small bag of HEROIN.

    I live near Pittsburgh and if you remember the DEA was launching their new PILOT program – 360- or whatever its called, in an effort to stem the tide of heroin and the pain meds that turn people into heroin users. So just lately, the DRUG arrests have been making the papers here every day and people are getting busted for everything including Pot. Headline News was 4 local guys getting arrested for having a small amount of Marijuana and other narcotics and this was an operation that started months ago. The DEA is here and anyone stupid enough to be out there selling or using is crazy ( and they are ). Over the next few months I’m sure there will be many more stories to pass on to all of you.

    I think Mr.Botticelli has good intentions but for something like this I cant see him as the guy with the agenda to get rid of narcotic pain meds. I think it comes from a much higher level and the DEA with their Brown Shirt’s – SWAT TEAMS and no one looking over their shoulder, is the perfect agency to get the job done.

    Thank you,

    John S

  13. Deana McKenzie at 4:50 pm

    @Botticelli44 Your story on 60 minutes left out some of the most important people! Those of us with intractable chronic pain who cannot function without the help of some opioids! Most of people like me take their medication properly and as prescribed! You made it sound like anyone who takes prescription opioids are addicted! I completely resent your obvious oversight on this matter! We weren’t even mentioned! Many people in this country who have serious chronic pain, need the medicine to function on a daily basis!

  14. Kristine (Krissy) at 4:35 pm

    This is the comment I made after the show:

    Good. I liked it. BUT you forgot AGAIN to just make ONE statement about people who use Rx drugs for legit reasons. So ONCE AGAIN, you made it look like all of us pain patients are addicts who are going to go from Oxy to Heroin. Same with MM. No mention of medical marijuana? Are you kidding me? That’s one of the biggest drug subjects on the planet and he is talking about marijuana “addicts?” What the…” All you have to do is clarify, clarify, clarify. Your show is getting poorer and poorer.

  15. Patricia Scanlan at 4:05 pm

    My son has pancreatitis, not an addict but gets treated like one. Has chronic pain. For all that live with chronic pain they need help and can’t get it.

  16. myst7 at 3:44 pm

    US Rep. at Pot Hearing: ‘People Don’t Smoke Marijuana and Beat Up Their Wives’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOU_3wsc35s youtube video needs to be watched This
    Administration’s Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli. he gets shot down with The MMJ policy and it needs money to be tested as a med

  17. Jeremy Goodwin, MS, MD at 3:27 pm

    Unfortunately, even this publication won’t take risks. The tame reports and not taking a truly active stand of major substance against this atrocious anti pain medicine movement relegates it to a rather meek squeak of protestation heard only by the choir.

    Jeremy Goodwin, MS, MD

    Past Chief, Division of Pain Medicine , Dept. of Neurosurgery, and Senior Headache attending, Depts. of Neurology and Pediatrics,
    Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.

  18. BL at 1:53 pm

    Scott michaels, that is a Great idea ! But, it would take millions and millions of chronic pain patients doing this AND writting the sponsors and telling them why. Maybe someone could write a letter and post it online and people could sign it. But they would have to follow through and boycot the sponsors enough for them to feel it. Sadly I have found that the majority of people that complain on the internet stop there. They don’t put their words into action. But, it;s worth a try to see how many people would sign a letter. If nothing comes from it we would know that not enough people cared enough to actually boycott the sponsors.

  19. Scott michaels at 1:49 pm

    mona i just saw the link u put up.
    i read it as the government is offering money to a person who can come up with a plan to put well over a million people in incomprehensible pain until they doe or kill themselves.
    i am not tech savvy so could someone please copy and send this to the national pain institute and anybody that could put a stop to it. geez i feel like the natzis are rewarding people for killing people people that need pain meds to survive. this must stop

  20. Barbara W at 12:44 pm

    Scott, thats a fantastic idea. But, we would have to email the companies why.

  21. dave rosen at 10:47 am

    well i hope many od you like myself wrote 60min. if so they should hae gotten a few thousand letters. if so, i hope they lambast this guy. a recovering addict knows damn well there is a difference between an addict and a dependent chronic pain patient

  22. John S at 10:11 am

    Pain meds will continue to be targeted along with the doctors that write them – count on it.

    After very little research I have learned the vast majority of prescription meds that make it to the streets are not from patients but large scale theft from pharmacies and the producers of the drugs. Pharmacist are also a main source.

    A recent article revealed 1 pharmacist was stealing as many as 1500 pills per week. A Dr. in NY had sold/ written scripts valued at $77 million dollars over a 5 year period.

    The Pill Mills in Florida are gone or will be gone. Theft of the drugs is at an all time high in the US.

    If Botticelli is a former user of pain meds I believe he will target the chronic pain patients as hard as he can. He wants a victory a feather in his cap and he aims to get one at any cost.

    Can’t wait for 60 minutes to come on so I can watch and listen to all the lies from the self appointed expert.

    Thank you,

    John S

  23. Scott michaels at 10:09 am

    lets boycott their sponsers, if we cant get airtime too