Is the COVID-19 public health emergency negatively impacting the supply of pain medication.
In a word—yes.
The U.S. is rapidly expanding ventilator production—which is important. Remember that to use ventilators—sedatives and pain medications and others are needed. That’s hurting supply.
This NPR story discusses it in some depth.
It is also on the radar of medical and advocacy groups as read her in the Hill.com.
This issue caught the attention of pain patient advocate Richard “Red” Lawhern, PhD who told his network that it’s time to do something about the DEA.
“Due to draconian and unjustified DEA restrictions on production, injectable as well as oral prescription opioids were in shortage well before the Corona Virus pandemic. We’ve seen reports of patients deferring needed surgeries and hospice residents being denied pain treatment in stage 4 cancer. And all for nothing.
“Published data of the US CDC itself demonstrates beyond any reasonable argument that America’s opioid crisis wasn’t created by either prescribed or diverted prescription opioids. Prescribing rates in seniors over age 62 are three to six times higher than in youth under age 19. Yet overdose related mortality in youth is six times higher than in seniors. One cannot possibly get that result from prescribing practice. You can’t get there from here.
“It is high time that DEA is disbanded or severely downscaled. The failed war on drugs has become a war against people in pain and their doctors. Doctors are being persecuted out of practice, often by extra-legal intimidation and unfounded threats.”
The National Pain Report has been asking its readers to comment on their experiences in accessing their doctors and their prescription since the COVID-19 public health emergency has exploded since early March.
Is anyone finding their pharmacies are running short of supply?
Let us know.