Oregon Opioid Taper Back in The News

Oregon Opioid Taper Back in The News

While momentum for the forced tapering proposal for Oregon Medicaid patients promoted by the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission has stalled for now, thanks to pressure from local pain patients and national pain experts, the state’s Opioid Taper Guidelines Task Force is continuing its work.

The Task Force meets on Friday July 19th and is considering a proposal to dramatically expand the criteria for inclusion in a forced taper.

The language now includes mental health comorbidities that can “develop or worsen” with opioid therapy.

The important word, according to those who have read the guideline, is “develop”. This, according to advocates, leaves interpretation not about what is happening but what might happen without any protection for the chronic pain community.

OHA says it is convening experts on the Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Task Force. OHA says, “The resulting guidelines from this task force will supplement the Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Chronic Pain to help patients and prescribers’ approach opioid tapering with best practices in mind.”

The Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Task Force currently meets publicly monthly through at least September 2019.

One of its members has raised the eyebrows of advocates who believe the Task Force may be predisposed to an anti-opioid stance—despite declaration from practically all in the pain management community that opioids have a role in the treatment of chronic pain.

Paul Coelho, MD is the Medical Director of the Pain Clinic at Salem Health and is also a board member of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP). Its executive director, Dr. Andrew Kolodny has been a hired gun…to the tune of $700+ hourly… in testifying in trials against pharmaceutical companies who produce opioid medication.

As Oregon continues to push for more rigid opioid prescribing guidelines, it’s important to remember what the FDA said on the matter earlier this year.

Recently, the FDA has received reports of serious harm, including serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain and suicide, in patients who are physically dependent on opioid pain medicines when these medicines are suddenly discontinued or when the dose is reduced too quickly, often without adequate patient communication, follow-up or support.

If you wish to contact the state of Oregon about the issue prior to its meeting on July 19th, contact Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, 711 TTY, or ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For more on the Oregon Opioid Taper Guideline Task Force, click here.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Jeanette French

THIS SAYS IT ALL—STOP THE MADNESS AND HARD TO PAIN PATIENTS NOW–WE SUFFER BECAUSE OF OTHERS WHO CHOOSE TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE WITH MEDICATIONS WHILE WE ARE TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE PATIENTS. Recently, the FDA has received reports of serious harm, including serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain and suicide, in patients who are physically dependent on opioid pain medicines when these medicines are suddenly discontinued or when the dose is reduced too quickly, often without adequate patient communication, follow-up or support.


Article states: “RECENTLY the FDA has received complaints” referring to harm caused to cpps from taperings i.e. ” withdrawals, suffering, suicide?” RECENTLY the FDA received complaints? Wrong. The CP community has been highly vocal for years screaming loudly to the top of our lungs ever since the ungodly ascinine, stupid and harmful antics of taperings leading to discontinuance, cold turkey discontinuance were implemented. FDA and ALL Fed alphabets have been well aware of our voices as CPP’s and CP advocacy at all levels. Feds and states CHOOSE selective hearing, have selective vision. Likewise. they CHOOSE to ignore scientific. based FACTS and data



ALL CPP’S need to respond to this issue because the fallout of what happens in Oregon may well set the precedence in other states–including yours!

Stephen Abbey

The cdc meant for new patients to start out on a low dose for a week to help with temporary pain, and to not take longer than needed so that don’t get to the point where they keep needing more. The cdc and the FDA both said doctors jumped to conclusions and shouldn’t have stopped pain meds for long term established patients. Why is it still going on the same for over 3 years now!!. Why, Why, Why?. I was doing good for a long time with what I had, just as a lot of others. There has been a lot of pleading from chronic patients!. What is the problem?
Just put it back like it was before any one else dies from not having enough pain relief. That is what was working before. And those are the ones that were careful not to over dose even accidentally. Because the amount we we’re taking was working!. Or some may have needed a little adjustment!! There are a lot of people suffering. It needs to stop three years ago!. I do still have a plan in place to stop my suffering, but I keep hoping for something possitive!!. 😫

Jody Hoffman

We all need to understand one thing, how many people are on opioid task forces? These people have a good paying job and they are going to want to keep it & let’s be honest most have no clue what it’s like to be in agony every day and they have the opinion that anyone who uses opiate medications are just a bunch of drug addicts. They have no interest in making our lives better, they just want to keep their new cushy job.

Gail Honadle

In the Purdue Pharma settlement, private attorneys took in $60 million, while about $200 million went to a research project at Oklahoma State University, which is Hunter’s alma mater.

Gail Honadle

WHO PAYS KOLODNY TO LIE, MORE THAN YOU THINK 9thx.mjt.lu/nl2/9thx/5j7lw.html?fbclid=IwAR2BlrCKb89TksSvdN2nQSxmSby-3mgErZnejcZfWdmnuHXZV4HV5Rfftpw


Kratom, much safer


And the pain shaming game continues. Silly me I thought the older, cheaper actually effective pain meds were being withheld to be replaced with pricier, inaffective filler meds.

Loyal P Kuhn

OHA – by whose authority? First, how many of these people treat chronic pain patients? Secondly, why are the majority of”medical experts” at the OHA not MDs?

T. Negrete

I now would like to find some illegal Fentanyl, that I didn’t even know existed before the Opioid Crisis Scare, to end my life easier.

Jeffery Fischer

You dont understand how it work taking a pain paitant like tapering of the pain becomes unbearable, Trust me Y’all tried torturing me before. I almost died.

Kathy Spain

This human experiment is extremely cruel and inhumane. It is extremely shameful that any MD would be in support of this kind of torture. It is complete failure of medicine. It is also wrong on so many levels that unqualified persons are allowed so much power to influence. I have been robbed of the ability to earn a living and left suffering high impact pain. Enough singling people out bases on diagnosis.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Agenda 21 is being implemented starting in Washington and Oregon, which is the beginning of control over people. The sick and dying are of little use in their plans. Now if people can be made to understand just how evil and wicked these Antichrist bastards are. Love, empathy and compassion are not a part of their plan. And sadly we cannot count on help from our government, because a great number of government officials are part of this plan. I must encourage people to seek the Redeemer and prepare themselves as this great suffering spreads across our nation and around the world. The false prophets spoken of by Jesus have done their worse and continue their evil. Millions of people have believed their lies, and stand in danger of eternal death. But these warnings of doom have never been popular and less so today. In 1973 when the legalized murder of the unborn began and in 2015 when the Sodomites were turned loose, judgment began and will continue until this once blessed country ceases to be. But be assured of this the Almighty Living God will keep His children and not one will be lost. Are you one of the blood washed children of God and are you walking daily in His Word by His Spirit? If not sure cry out for His mercy and Salvation while you can. The day of Salvation continues but soon will come to a close. When this happens no amount of repentance will help. “Behold, now is the accepted time, Behold, now is the DAY OF SALVATION. (2nd. Corinthians 6:2). “Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection, on whom such the second death hath no power.” (Rev. 20:6). This speaks of the born again experience. Yet men who live in their flesh says this is not so. Lay aside all preconceived notions and ideas from the traditions of the elders and read God’s Word for yourselves, measure those who go about teaching and preaching by God’s revealed Word, The Bible. Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. Apart from Him there is NO HOPE!


Why in God’s name do they even have a committee called the Taper guidelines especially after the FDA statement in April. We know because one of it’s board members is a big Whig at PROP. They need to be called out big time.

Laura Bundich

Are there any “Pain Management Doctocs still giving chronic pain patient’s medication and doing procedures ? Only asking this question because I’m sure that this is happening to everyone. The physician I saw (fill in the blanks) tapered be off my meds.


As a former patient of Dr. Paul Coelho, I have had first hand experience with his ability in his pain management . When returning to him, after 5 back surgeries and a neurostimulator implant, he cut my medications. This was without examination or conversation of what was going on. The appointment and conversation was less than 2 minutes. All I got to say is that the pain had increased. I was told that this was ridiculous that I couldnt be having more pain after a neurostimulator implant and I was taking way to much medication.
After being unable to walk and living in indescribable pain for the next two years, I then had to have surgery on another herniated disc. When the surgery began it was discovered that the pedicle screws had broken the bones and there was no fusion. After that, although the damage had been done, I could walk again albeit far less than normal.

Dr Coelho had been working for the surgery center where this happened and had attended to me through 4 surgeries with that physician. He had previous knowledge that the first fusion hardware had moved.
If he had actually examined me or even listened to what the problems were, it probably would have led to discovering the issue instead of years of wasted life with extreme pain.The point is that he wasnt evaluating the patient. His focus was on complying with the guidelines he helped create.
In the position he is in on the board, is he doing the same thing? When will we be treated as individuals by caring physicians instead of those who are more concerned with complying with the impressive rules which they create! My pain is managed by this person through the board with his in-sensitivities! Meanwhile we die a little more each day because of it.

Please check with the medical boards for complaints!!!!! Please check with his last employer as to the amount of complaints!!!!!! Yet he sets on the board? Just passing on the facts

Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

My untreated pain led to malignant hypertension as proven by multiple tests by a nephrologist who concluded I MUST be treated with opioids along with antihypertensive medications to control it. Once back on an appropriate opioid medication, my BP normalized. THAT’S medical and scientific PROOF as opposed to what that idiot Kolodny spouts off at a ridiculous financial fee. Would you like me to produce my records as proof or testify? I’m an MD and former pain management physician who actually watched the blood pressures of pain patients decrease as their pain came under control with proper treatment which included the judicious use of opioids. I began studying pain management as a 3rd year medical student and never stopped because I understood its importance UNLIKE those on this committee convened in Oregon.

There really is opiate problems out there we had to do something.There is also alcohol and meth too.There is companies and people very much profiting.Pharma companies and others started buying and opening treatment centers.Funny thing is none of them really knows what works except the ones that have been there.Not all doctors but a big majority of them are just really being chicken shit and not standing up.They just don’t want to deal with it anymore.The ones that flat abandoned their patients we need to make a list of and blackball them.
There is so many things that can be done to help watch the people that needs opiates.I went through this thing for days that they hooked up stuff to me and made me do things to measure how much pain I was in and the effects it was having on my body.There is so many things out there that can be done and REAL chronic pain people can finish their lives out more happy instead of not wanting to wake up and feel tortured all day and night long.Being able to do some things is better than doing nothing and being able to go see kids and grandkids is better than not.I should go testifie and make that much money that some of those docs. do cause I have been doing stuff and trying stuff for so long I can do it better than the ones that don’t hurt 24/7. Keep going people and don’t give the greedys the satisfaction of ending it.I have a great and special love for all you that have REAL CHRONIC PAIN.

davidkenberg kenberg

If they think it’s so bad now wait it’s going to get worse.I guess we have no right’s anymore.What do we live in russia now? They are causing more harm by not letting us be out of pain.Those are our right’s to be out of pain.No one asked me how I felt about this. 700.$ an hour to do this are you kidding me? I guess I’ll have to get a lawyer to fight for my care.Your killing people and there killing them selves.To me and the people who suffer it’s utter bull-shit!!!! LAW SUIT’S COMING!!!

This sickens me because they say, on one hand, that the pain management community declares the helpful role of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. This is then followed by focusing on tapering once again. It feel like, no matter how you look at it, that the government is completely against those of us who suffer. They just don’t care which, as I have said before, leaves us as little more than collateral damage…and that really sucks.

Hayden Hamby Jr.

Does the Food and Drug Administration no longer have ANY valid input concerning “best practice” for opiate pain medication prescribing or is it just being ignored by a handful of “experts” who stand to profit by the continuation of the narrative that prescribed medication patients are the sole, main cause and continuing fuel of the “opioid crisis”?

While obviously, there is a substance abuse issue, a deadly substance abuse issue, collective data based upon science and statistical information published through long standing, recognized, very informed health institutes both “private” and dot/gov based is being dismissed.

Mental health issues that may “develop” or worsen? What about what IS happening to pain management patients nationwide forced to fight for the right to life, liberty and to pursue happiness? What about our educated, trained, and knowledgeable physicians and pharmacists now forced into neglecting their patients that fully realize that critical, possibly deadly acts such as turning to illicit street drugs and even taking our own lives could “develop”?

The negative, possibly, unanticipated deadly impact of a “guideline” for prescribing is being placed secondary to what? The still rising yearly overdose toll? Patients who were documented for even decades as beneficially, stably treated for pain management with opiate medication is being ignored. People/patients able to function, remain employed, pay for education after high school and on and on now is not even a consideration in reality for “allowing” our physicians to make their own decisions about “best prescribing”! Who or what agencies decide which of the experts should be called “valid”? Paid “hit men” upon the pain management world with conflicts of interest seem to be the norm now.


Seriously?why is everyone still trying to figure out the motive here?does it matter?your not being treated for pain but the rich,polititions,cops and dogs are being treated with opioids.do something about it.id say fight fire with fire but sometimes alittle flour ,water or an exting.help.This has gone on for yrs.talking about it knowing what we know already wont do any good.its way past time for action of great purportion,dont u think?look how fast rights for abortion protesters stopped everthing in their tracks by protesting their right to an abortion?which should be between them and thier dr.just as your right to have opioid pain meds should be between u and your dr.someone needs to get people from every state suffering from chronic pain and every family member,friend or person they can find and set up the largest protest we ve ever seen! Thats the only way anything will get done,or anyone will listen.Theres more than 50million people come on!whose with me here?


People your being played….you need to start helping the drug dealers and the mob get drugs into our states….If polititions and cops can have opioids for pain,even. dogs can…then you need to self medicate bc clearly theres a problem in the us when only the rich and those in authority can be treated for pain???


I can’t figure out who is benefiting from this but somebody must be making big money for all the pain they’re causing people


You know it’s funny….when I began to read this I thought “I wonder if Kolodey is behind this.”


These people have no clue or rather, they do not care what happens to any of us trying to have some QOL. It’s all about the big bucks.

My main question is this…..Why aren’t these greedy lawyers suing the FDA and the CDC?They have a very big part in this so called “Opioid Epidemic” if you want to get technical.In the early 1990’s they said pain was not being treated as is should be, they gave the go ahead and added pain as the 5th vital sign. It’s just so dag gone crooked and unbelievable! it’s all about GREED!

Gail Honadle

You left out Heart Attacks deaths. Untreated Intractable Pain which spikes leads to Hypertension Crisis that lead to Heart Attacks and deaths. Every member of PROP should be held Liable for every death their Unethical decisions causes.

alan thurman

taking away a persons ability to deal with pain and making them sit in their house day after day is pure torture. now make a study on how a person becomes homeless hopeless and desperate. u can start with me


I’ve been watching Psycho-cry-ist Dr. Kolodny’s testimony in Judge Thad Balkman’s court and am amazed at his brassy comparisons between chronic pain patients use of opioids to the Spanish flu and a possible Ebola outbreak with amazement.
The 1918 flu pandemic affected 1/3rd of the worlds population, killing 50 million people with 675,000 killed in America. How Completely Absurd!

By his own admission, Dr. Kolodny will make $500,000 for his expert testimony in the J&J trial, not to mention the others he is called to do in other states.

The state of Oklahoma reached two settlements ahead of the trial with other drugmakers: a $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and an $85 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the world’s largest makers of generic drugs.

The state argues that Johnson & Johnson created a public nuisance which will cost between $12.7bn and $17.5bn to remedy over the next 20 to 30 years with 25% going to the government’s hired attorneys.

This is huge money with little regard to the suffering of chronic pain patients. It may not be a concentration camp, but it’s still a genocide just the same.

With this in mind, it may not look good for the outcome of this Kangaroo Court.

Gary Jermyn

If opioids are deemed harmless and helpful to those with chronic pain, imagine how many ambulance chasers would be hurt in their assault on Deep Pockets. Get my point? 🇺🇸💰🤓