Pain Task Force Meets This Week – Comments Due Today (Monday May 6)

Pain Task Force Meets This Week – Comments Due Today (Monday May 6)

The next meeting of the Federal Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force is scheduled for this week—and it will be interesting to see what happens.

The reasons are many.

Since the last time the Task Force met, some 6,000 pain patients have left comments about what they think about the various aspects of the draft report.

In addition, there has been an obvious softening by the FDA and the CDC on their rigid anti opioid stances—as the damage done to chronic pain patients who use opioid therapy to manage their pain has become more obvious.

And the media—not all of them to be sure but still enough to be noticed—have begun to shift their narrative from “opioids are bad” to not all who use opioids (notably pain patients) are addicts.

So what the Pain Task Force is going to do on May 9 and 10 in Washington is worth more than a little attention.

The Task Force will vote on the final draft Task Force recommendations for acute and chronic pain management. The plan to disseminate information about best practices for pain management will be presented.

If you are in the D.C. area and have time, I suggest you attend. (If you do, let me know what you think after the meeting by emailing us at

The Task Force meeting will start at 10 am (Eastern Daylight Time) at the Great Hall at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide comments at the meeting on May 9, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Public comments made during the meeting will be limited to three minutes per person to ensure time is allotted for all those wishing to speak.

Individuals are also welcomed to submit their written comments until Monday, May 6 through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at The docket number is HHS-OS-2019-0003. Written comments should not exceed one page in length.

You can learn more information about the meeting by clicking here.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Joseph Dixon

I have been dealing with pain that most people have no idea how to deal with forgive me for the people that do and i know that that number is higher than i could even imagine.I have arachnoiditis from failed back surgeries and then i have a fractured calcainis my heel bone that has never been worked on and it been 5+years my back surgeries were 20 +years ago and my one and only thing that makes my life worth living is being taken away from me 1 visit after another. I have had toxic screens for at every visit and never failed once .What does a person like me do I am not going to get better I am at the end at 54?Dont know what to do hope people that are doing their best to help people like me just survive and it looks grime.There is no one shoe fits all and they know it. In pain with no hope Joe D please don’t let people like me silp though their war on chronic pain

Howard Hill

I’m needing another back surgery at my age it’s hard to get anything done, except hurt so bad can hardly get around they have cut my pain meds so much

Carol Johnson

Catch the drug dealers. Leave me alone

Carol Johnson

I have MS, degenerative disc disease, severe osteoporosis & osteoarthritis, ashma, COPD, and numerous others. If i didnt have alittle help with pain meds i could not even walk. I have no family left to help me so i live alone. I am 70 yrs old. Please dont take the meds that are keeping me going. It is not my fault that their are bad people out there selling drugs on the street. .

KIra S

I have more medical issues than I can list here, the worst of which are Ehlers Danlos, Interstitial Cystitis, and a degenerating spine. I have fought to stay off opioids for as long as possible but Im having trouble working, keeping up with my house and even walking my dog. I just want some semblance of a life, and this anti-opioid agenda is standing in my way. I don’t want to get high. I want to work. I want to live. Meanwhile, addicts are still overdosing. Its not even helping. We neef help.


if i put the time into it tonight would i be able to send it someone on the Task Force?


I am in a good pain management practice in Florida but terrified that could go away at anytime. Yes they cut me down some 😣 it sucks but if something happened and the powers that be scared off my doctor as many are doing now I wouldn’t be able to support my son, I work a desk job but that is it. I can’t carry anything, not even drinks or lift water. Going to the store or cleaning is too much a lot of times. It takes everything to do that. I have zero social life as it is due to neck pain, I’ve had surgery and have DDD and stenosis all down my spine plus do everything in my power for chronic migraine on top of that, I’ve had since I was a child, got worse at 17 yrs old. Pain goes down my arms into my fingers at times and have to get epidurals also every 3 months. I’m on a lot less than many patients as I wear a butrans patch and a small amt of hydrocodone.
I don’t want to die but hate living in pain. God only knows how much worse I’d be without what I have. Sad to punish doctors, that causes them to under treat patients if they will treat at all. We have to pay more to go to pain management. I do worry about long term effects from the injections. Also had to chose between pain and anxiety though was treated for both for many years with no problem.Which also helped my neck pain made the meds work easier. New laws they said neither willing to ” lose their license” . I don’t blame them.


I want to be confident when I go in for an appointment. I feel discouraged. Because every time I go to see my Dr., I leave in more pain and anguish than when I arrived. And I’m denied pain relief that would help me through this agony. I haven’t wanted to go back. Why should my insurance continue to pay for this same I’ll treatment ? Why would I even want them to? They get paid to watch us walk away in agony. I’m not cool with that! IT’S NOT OKAY!


Pain medicine is what I meant : );


EVERYYONE! Please research every drug being prescribed to you. Many of us are suffering from irreversible damages caused by drugs we were lead to believe would help us.And I’ve noticed they continue prescribing these dangerous drugs. We have the right to say NO! We have the right to adequate pain medicine. We all know what paid medicine works for us individually. And we have a right to that.


I just want to spread awareness. Gabapentin and Lyrica cause irreversible damage to patients.

Article CBS News titled (amid the opioid crisis) by Errol Barnett stating that doctors / nurses / employees of medical services are stealing patients pain medication. One employee actually injected numerous patients from the same syringe that she stole medication from surgical tray refilled it with Saline an ended giving the multi patients liver diseases. It mentioned a Dr. name Stephen Loyd admitting to stealing patient’s pain meds & he was also the doc prescribing pain meds & go up mg the patient’s pain meds & actually would steal lesser mg by saying leave less mg bottle in his office. He had admitted he has an addiction at one point & then got help but now he is advisor to Tennessee’s addiction guidelines. Now he’s a addiction psychologist when he used to be an internist. It’s a good read on who is advising the government. Not sure but I think it said he also worked for TN state. It goes to show that pain patients being on the bottom of the totem pole that the ones that are doing most abusing meds/ insurance have been pharmacies & doctors. And the patients have been paying the price. Physically, mentally, money sometimes loss of life. We are not believed & have no control but only Physicians, Pharmacy, insurance have control & are believed. What does it matter about the best practices? The damage has been done . who would trust pain management anymore?


I can’t take nsaids. They really upset my stomach. Was told not to take them by many Doctors. I am able to take hydreocodone. Had to sign a contract with my PCP. I did. I am not seeking drugs of any kind. I have multiple sclerosis and other pain issues. Thank-you


It is time you stop killing the veterans who served our country, by denying them pain relief. It is time you stop killing the many people in pain who because of no fault of their own are denied pain medicines. These are not addicts these are people who suffer because our government has decided to lie to the American people about a illegal street drug problem. No autopsies were done on the people/addicts who died of illegal overdoses across the country. And if there were, you would have found they had drugs from Mexico or China in their system. The government is practicing medicine without a license. Isn’t that illegal? The truth is less than 1% get addicted by a pain pill. If the postal service closed the drug loophole for shipping the drugs from China, and the drug tunnels were filled that smuggle drugs into our country from Mexico. And the congressmen and senators who have stock in the new drug suboxone, which is more addictive than opioids, and is not effective in pain relief, didn’t care more about making money than helping people. There might be a light at the end of this dark tunnel. But I know that all these things will not happen. I can only hope that one day you the people who had there hands in doing all this harm to innocent decent people, will get to experience the agonizing daily unrelenting pain yourselves. And when you needed pain relief you are told we cannot help you. All the uptick in older people, veterans, and law abiding citizens death by their own hands. Will be on your hands. Stop the killing, allow the doctors to treat their patients pain. Stop playing doctor. Until you have lived everyday in unrelenting pain, you don’t have a clue the suffering you all are causing. Addicts will still get high even if you take every opioid pill out of the world. They will find some other substance to die from. Find a cure for addiction if you truly want them to stop using. And give the people in pain back their medicine so they can stop dying!

Barbara W

“OVERDOSING ON REGULATION:HOW GOVERNMENT CAUSED THE OPIOD EPIDEMIC! ” Cato Institute policy analysis>overdose 2/14/2019 Must read with all its footnotes & proof of information! LEAP & Many others have been proving this for 20 yrs this needs to go to our SELL OUT GOVERNMENT. PAY OFFS THAT the VA has brought up 2- 10 million per person. ! this article even has the back up of the other countries that have not sold out. My doctor said they are trying to ban all anti anxiety meds now too!! So in essence either you go to the street for those too or go to rehab & get it all from the same people who put us in this position with all of their lies! So we need to scream it from our radio, stations events etc ! I am writting all my Congress people back & telling them if they don’t reverse the prohibition & give us back our Doctors & stop the DEA FROM cutting the supply we will assume that every person in office there is in bed with Deep pockets with agenda & the Rehab industry, plus manufacturers of suboxene ! There for we must take action to IMPEACH & REMOVE ALL INVOLVED & Bring our Civil& Constitutional
rights back & stop the GENOCIDE ,Torture of innocent people no matter what it takes! D A R E Is working to help the youth stay out of the internet before they get in trouble but they agree with all the corruption too. one gentleman said that the government grants 100k to the Rehab facilities for each chronic pain patient that goes over to the Rehab side. I would like to know if that is true & which facilities! So if anti anxiety drugs are banned too they will be sky high on the black market as well. Exposure is what we must do!!

Barbara Thurman

So many have been left to suffer and deaths. Way to strict restrictions on chronic pain patients. Medicare think would be very happy with more deaths. Very much of the time when people need the medication. So many millions have had their quality of life destroyed.
Way past time for DEA, CDC to own up to harm that has been done.
How did legitimate Pain Patients get looked at like addict. Someone needs to do their homework, there is huge difference between the two. Know addiction is bad does need attention. In the Government wisdom forgot about the pain patient. Know our Doctors easy target and the patient. Government doesn’t ask about patients history or diagnosis. Just start acting like their the Doctor. Like any profession can be a bad apple but for majority of Doctors want what is best for patient. Many pain patients did several different treatments before pain medication.
Now Government has broke trust between Doctor and Patient.

Theresa Negrete

Too late!

Meg Taylor

My insurance company is refusing to fill cyclobenzaprine for patients. They are recommending Lyrica (already take 1200 mg of Gabapentin a day and it works like Lyrica. I tried it for six months and did not notice any difference with the Lyrica so I discontinued it. Now they are suggesting NSAIDS to kidney patient. Idiots.


Not many comment on this important regulation so far as I can see. It closes very soon so make haste, folks!

Stan Riedel

I have filled out the do not resuscitate form. It’s not worth it to be saved to suffer more, with the way things are for pain patients.

Robert Ivan

How about simply asking them kindly if they would mind awfully to Stop Murdering us. After all, look how asking the Nazi’s nicely to stop murdering the Jewish people worked.


This is for Reese, perhaps more. Ten years before the opioid Injustice ever started, I was going to CVS. My doctor had printed a prescription for an anxiety medicine in which I had been taking for years. I had a good rapport with all of the pharmacy technicians and the pharmacists. One day I went in to get my prescription filled for I had just came from my doctor’s office, he knew that I was due a refill that day. Long story short she refused me. That was on a Thursday, my doctor was out of town until Monday morning. The medicine I needed can cause serious side effects if one just “doesn’t take it.” Death is one of them. The pharmacist announced she wouldn’t fill it until Monday. I even counted the days out for her on my calendar. She was unphased, repeating what she said. I left thinking how? Why? What have I done to make her mad? Not one thing! Two nights later I would find myself going to the emergency room deathly sick and scared to go to sleep that night fearing I wouldn’t wake up. The doctor on call wasn’t going to treat me, then I began telling him that I had called several CVS’s and one of the other pharmacists said, “Your doctor no longer gets to “play God,” WE DO NOW!” The doctor said you’re not making this up, only a pharmacist would say that. To my surprise, he promptly treated me. The next day I went to another CVS that evening and was able to get my prescription filled with absolutely no problem. That would be the last trip to CVS for me. I found a Mom and Pop’s pharmacy. No more CVS, no more Walgreens less it was a life or death 24-hour scenario from being released from a future hospital visit. My new pharmacy treats me with respect as I do them. When I went in I told them that I was looking for a pharmacy that cared, that I would be a good customer and I have been. I’m very courteous and I get to know the people I’m dealing with. It makes all the difference! To this day I refuse to walk through the doors of a CVS, for anyting.


Unless you’re in a situation with no solution and pain controls your life, you have no idea of the misery one suffers quietly. Watching yourself get worse because it’s hard to care for oneself. Hard to concentrate through basic tasks.
I’ve been afraid to even ask for help anymore for fear of being labeled or offered another non relief option and find some relief with Kratom.
After 17 yrs everyone knows what works and what makes you health decline and no relief.

Why would anyone want to make someone more miserable?Why take them away from their family and life? Why do people think they can feel,think,and know what is best for someone else? If you have not done anything wrong and haven’t had any issues why make them come down and feel like their life is over or want to die? I just can’t see anything that makes sense to do this to already suffering people except for money?

Mr Marty

I’m confused why there’s only a few hundred comments to date?!
Please take 5 minutes to leave your comment. You can be anonymous. Todays the last day. It’s easier to do on a computer but I’ve been successful on my smart iphone. Open in up with Safari.

Rosalind Rivera

It’s about time that our plight is being recognizable zed at least by some. I pray that at the very least blanket pain management will be eradicated and that we chronic pain sufferers are treated humanely. Each individual should be monitored however each individual should also be assessed according to their medical records and then properly treated. As a chronic pain suffering woman with many health issues and disabilities I wish and hope for the day in which I can perhaps leave my bed which has become my prison since my pain management doctor began to cut my dosages, and begin to function once again and be rid of my isolation as well as thoughts of negative alternate methods in which to ease my constant suffering.
Rosalind Rivera
Lucerne Valley, Ca.

Mona Mallory

I sure wish we could do something with the pharmacy staff. As soon as some of the pharmacy staff learns that you are filling a prescription for an opioid, they treat you differently. When I asked the Walmart clerk why insurance was no longer allowed to help pay for my prescription, he told me they want to make it harder for me to obtain opioids. I switched to another pharmacy where some of the staff are nicer, but a few there still make their displeasure known in small ways. The whole thing is so humiliating.


Wallgreens, N. Potomac, MD has NOT softened only hardened. The pharmacist on my last visit said to me, “ she is in control” not my doctor and refused to fill prescription because I was 7 days early. New prescription and different pain until I could get another treatment. She was arrogant and rude.

Gail Honadle

The last time I got a letter back I’m sorry for your problems, there is nothing we can do about it. It is a State Issue, as it has always been. Our Tennessee State Legislature is ADJOURNED until January without addressing the new CDC/FDA suggested guidelines. We still can’t get Pain Meds for even a Hip Replacement Surgery. Tylenol is what is being given to 78 yr old patients who wither in agony and don’t do well in Rehab. Unless they have Stupid doctors who recommend Advil which is a blood thinner. Those of use with Intractable Pain are already Forced Tapered even those with Cancer can’t get more than 60 mg as chain Pharmacies won’t fill them. Gastro Patients are with out treatment. Even a Class 5 Med is hard to come by because the doctors are Scared to prescribe or be doctors. They are Useless, might as well be your own doctor for all the good they do. I have a Pre-Cancer called Barrett’s Esophagus, it’s been over 2 yrs since my last upper Endoscope and I’m in horrible abdominal pain that is being ignored. I have a NON working Colon that needs Linzess to work, PCP doesn’t want to write the Gastro’s scripts, He’s not seeing you. More so if you live in Rural areas where Medical care is poor to begin with or barely existent for serious diseases like Lupus.

Gary Raymond

I am going to die of NSAID poisoning before positive action is taken. My stomach and heart are going to fail. Will my death become a statistic for suicide or overdose? It appears FDA boxed warnings carry no weight. How did the CDC become the head of the FDA? The CDC has harmed more people than they have helped. Dr. Redfield should have his license revoked – not tapered.