US Senate Bill will Pressure FDA on Opioid Approvals

US Senate Bill will Pressure FDA on Opioid Approvals

OpioidsWhile chronic pain patients continue to worry about what they believe is a decreasing access to certain narcotic pain medications, two U.S. Senators are introducing a bill that would make it more difficult for new and generic opioid drugs to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The bill is called the FDA Accountability for Public Safety Act and has been introduced by two West Virginia Senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moor Capito.  Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana is also a sponsor.

“This is an American issue,” proclaimed U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia who spoke to the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit on April 8. “When you see Democrats and Republicans come together on an issue like this, I think that should give you some hope.”

In his press release announcing the bill, Manchin said:

“With 46 people dying every day from an overdose of prescription drugs across this country, it only makes common sense for the FDA to seek the advice of its expert panel and follow its recommendations concerning the approval of dangerously addictive drugs for public use,” Senator Manchin said. “Regrettably, the FDA has proven time and time again that it is willing to ignore its own experts and approve medications that harm consumers. This is deplorable and unacceptable. Too many lives have been lost, too many families have been torn apart, and too many communities have been affected by these potent painkillers. I am proud to continue fighting this growing epidemic by introducing commonsense legislation that takes another step toward making sure the drugs our government validates are safe.”

His Republican counterpart from West Virginia struck a similar theme.

“We must bring more accountability to the FDA and ensure that consumer safety is the number one priority when new, dangerous opioid medications are considered,” said Senator Capito.

The bill is a response to FDA’s regulation of opioid painkillers, and specifically one known as Zohydro. The drug was approved in October 2013. The FDA approved the drug despite the advice of its advisory panel, which cited the drug’s potential for abuse when recommending against its approval.

The bill (S. 954) makes the following recommendations:

  • All opioid medications would be subjected to advisory committee review and recommendation before the FDA makes a decision on approving an opioid.
  • If the Advisory Committee does not approve of an opioid medication due to concern over consumer health and safety – just as the Committee acted with respect to Zohydro – the FDA Commissioner would be required to make the final decision regarding drug approval; currently, the FDA Commissioner does not need to act when the Advisory Committee is overruled.
  • The FDA must submit a report to the Chair and Ranking Member of the relevant Committees that includes medical and scientific evidence regarding patient safety and clearly justifies why they ignored the Advisory Committee’s recommendation. The report must also include any conflicts of interest that FDA officials involved may have. Finally, the FDA is required to submit a copy of this report to any Member of Congress who requests a copy.
  • At the request of the appropriate congressional committee, the FDA Commissioner would be required to testify before Congress as to why the FDA ignored its own Advisory Committee.
  • Distribution of the drug would be prohibited until the report is submitted to Congress.

 

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 49 comments for this article
  1. Pauly at 2:02 pm

    There are 88,000 deaths from alcohol a year and it’s totally legal. I’ve been on opiates for 20 years and I’m still alive. All of this is Hog wash. Propaganda. A reason to control. If they truly cared about the American people they’d take all of the salt and sugar out of food, obesity kills too and food is an addiction. Alcohol should be banned as well as nsaids and acetaminophen. These are all truly dangerous products too.

  2. Janice Reyolds at 7:05 am

    Nice thought (law validating persistent pain) but it could never happen; basically because too many do not believe or want to believe . A headline awhile back (the article consisted of dissing the IOM report on Chronic Pain) was Commentary: Exaggerating Our Pain. The WHO has had for years a position statement that treatment of chronic pain is a human right, yet where has that gone. It is only through strong evidence and continued advocacy that hopefully we will get somewhere (did you realize there is no evidence to support persistent pain that is in a non-cancer related setting responds to treatment or is perceived any differently than persistent pain in a cancer setting? Yet they are consistently differentiated between) There strong evidence to support all pain responds to opioids. We also know people respond differently as do pain syndromes to medications and treatments. Congress’s Ethics Committee needs to be on board because what these two legislators are proposing is unethical.

  3. Janice Reynolds at 6:07 am

    While it is true deaths are not recorded as due to chronic pain, this is also the huge problem with deaths caused by opioids. The death certificate frequently will say opioid overdose when death was actually the result of opioids and alcohol or opioids and other medication but that is never indicated. If a GI bleed occurs because of the use of NSAIDS and then death occurs the death certificate does not say it was from the use of NSAIDs although this is the case. Cause of death may be suicide however it will say opioid overdose. The biggest problem is when the cause is listed as respiratory depression or opioid toxicity and it is actually the end result of the disease process. People die and it is from the cancer or heart failure or extensive trauma and yet some physicians continue to put opioids as the cause of death. So any study that uses data mining to determine its statistics relying of seeing opioids somewhere in the cause of death is inherently flawed.
    I would also say that suicide is as much a choice as addiction is. What is someone to do that is in unremitting pain and has not quality of life or hope for the future? Addictions are always a choice at the beginning whether it is opioids alcohol or gambling. Being weak minded may not be a choice but people in pain should not have to pay for addicts poor choices.

  4. BL at 3:15 pm

    Slash, please post a link to the published studies you’re referring to.

  5. BL at 3:13 pm

    Dave, a Bill Of Rights For Chronic Pain Patients won’t do any good because that is not the same as Laws. You can’t confuse the orginnal Bill Of RIghts,which is the First !0 Amendments To The U.S. Constitution with anything that people write. Laws have to be written and passed by those in power.

  6. John S at 1:51 pm

    It’s because our opinion doesn’t matter because
    we are – under the influence – and in search of pain meds.
    We won’t be taken seriously for that reason.

    People believe that for us – Its about the high we get.
    L O L O L O L

    Today my son the USMC Vet was given a drug
    that’s is used to treat bi polar disorder. When he
    questioned the Dr. he told him its sometimes used for
    pain. My son is already on one anti depressant for pain
    that isn’t working. So far this doctor has given my don
    meds that he’s already taking with no results except weight
    gain and forgetfulness.

    It’s a sad truth but this new policy is killing Vets at a rate
    of 11 per day. All due to pain and no pain relief and more
    health problems from drugs that don’t work.

    Remember ; we are never out of the fight

    John S

  7. paita at 8:51 am

    To B.L. and John,,I think there needs to a law,,,a law written now,,,,that simply states,,”It is a self evident truth ,that no-one can physical feel the physical pain of another humanbeing,thus,,”Forced endurement of physical chronic pain is no longer legal nor humane with-out infringement in our civilized society,’That way it solves almost everything,,they could no longer blackmail us,,they could no longer force us to see shrinks or no medicines,,,those are all infringements to getting real physical pain relief,,which would no longer be lawful,,,’anything or anyone that forced any living humanbeing to forcibly endure their physical pain,,would no longer be lawful,,,,no personal/or professional opinions would ever cause someone to be forced to endure physical pain,,,ever again,,that would now be illegal

  8. paita at 8:40 am

    ohhh u bet they do,,i had cardiac arrhythmia’s,,,,inverted T-waves,,st.segment changes that should of killed me whilst in severe chronic PHYSICAL PAIN,, the only reason I didn’t die,,don’t know,,,might of been my age,,I was only 28 ishm,,29,,,but yea u bet chronic physical pain kills,,,,but hey according to Stanford,,,endure more,,,,w.t.f…. insanity,,,sorry,,that really pisses me off,,,endure more,,wow,,Again,,,, maybe Ed will write a column on,,,why do other people think its there job to think they have a right to tell others how much they should suffer in physical pain,,,i can never get anyone to answer that!!!!

  9. Dave at 8:13 am

    BL and John S- they lets work together on creating a bill of rights for people in pain which they can take to their doctors, parmacists, legislators, DEA and let us directly call for change in our Institutions. Clearly, our Institutions have done what they want to do and have failed to hear and respond to our needs The NPS had 80 experts in pain care- but no one who was jst in pain-and HHS went out of their way to prevent people in pain from being heard. The IPRCC website still has no link to a person or a phone number to call abot concerns with pain care. When I wrote a FOIL request to NIH in November- they claimed the draftof the NPS was a “private communication” and denied me access to the draft. When i wrote to Secretary Burwell on my concerns with regard ot pain care- she failed to respond.
    My point is simple- Congress, legislators, Governors, the DEA, HHS are going to do what they want to do and have and will continue to ignore what people in pain want or need It is up to people in pain and their families and friends to advocate for real change.

  10. kim lawson at 4:23 am

    The way we alter the disquieting subject of pain has been revamped. Morphia and synthetic pain management has greatly improved. We have aways to go. Better, longer, improved treatment greatly increases 100 fold. Research is the key and all attempts to fund the scientific causes NEVER should look back. To the future is the next well armed generation of our kids and beyond. With this our future looks bright. Only fear itself will impede efforts to the next pioneers of our hopes and dreams.

  11. kim lawson at 4:08 am

    In the last decade or two the powers therein who provide those in the US, the best of a comprehensive USP that rivals none. The days of just good enough are long in the past. TB, and polio for example during the 30’s are eradicated. Tx for bacterial diseases initiated in the 40’s with penicillin. Now we have anti fungal, viruses, on the horizon that can prevent disease in vitro. Genetic research provides a way to alter the very DNA and RNA of the human genome and the facts are very exciting. Not always offer girl or boy, blue eyes or superior humans but to further conquer the many scourges that face us now and tomorrow. We have conquered the moon and only infinity and great far reaching scientists will see what is store for the future. In the last century we knew little. Now on daily basis

  12. Slash at 12:42 am

    Chronic pain can and has killed without suicide being involved!

  13. Slash at 12:39 am

    Just a quick note, people do die from Chronic pain alone without committing suicide. It’s been known and published.

  14. BL at 7:56 pm

    John S , Sorry I can’t edit my reply after it posted. Even when someone commits suicide due to chronic pain, the death certificate does not list chronic pain as primary or secondary cause of death. Suicide is a choice.

  15. BL at 7:52 pm

    John S, I agree with you. I was just stating the way it is looked at by the politicians and drs. The bad thing is the true cost of chronic pain that is not treated or undertreated in hidden from the media. The media has much more to do with what politicians and drs do regarding this than the general public is aware of. The addiction problems with precription meds have been in the lime light for many yrs and remains there.

  16. John S at 6:07 pm

    To, BL; you are right people do not die from Chronic Pain.

    But BL; people do die from what that Chronic Pain is doing to their body and mind. Like any animal we can only take so much – Pain and Despair – Then take away hope and what you have left is a person suffering with nothing to look forward to in terms of getting relief. End result is DEATH by suicide out of compassion for our own self.

    I do agree with most of your comments and I appreciate your voice in them but please remember that some Chronic Pain patients have suffered for decades and I know personally the toll it takes. Our pain impacts the lives of our loved ones and we become a burden to them and then add to that the possibility of having to live with no working modality for pain relief. There comes a point in time when death seems a relief – right or wrong is not for anyone to say. Life was meant to be lived and when that ends what has life become ?

    Thanks again,

    John S

  17. BL at 3:08 pm

    Saying you will die from chronic pain, does nothing to help the cause, because no one dies from chronic pain. But, they do die from drug addiction.

    I wonder how many politicians and drs have investments in drug treatment centers and nursing homes. If someone has chronic severe pain to the point that they can’t take care of themselves and they don’t have the money or the insurance that will pay for Long Term Personal Care Services, their only choice is a nursing home.

  18. Kim at 1:06 pm

    Government oversight is intrusive on lives. Erring on the side of caution is still an error. The senate and house have a private pharmacy. They’re needs are addressed without issue. The public isn’t so fortunate.

  19. kimlawson1 at 10:39 am

    RE: “Feel Good” legislation. Zohydro is not notorious as some would have you believe. Abuse deterrence is of high value in a high end narcotic. True, the PO ingestion of over 100 Mg of hydrocodone( (in Zohydro) is not equal to the liver destroying effects of 3 or 4 grams of the prostaglandins (PG) in APAP or Tylenol. The damage of acetaminophen is cumulative.It is akin to radiation. The more you get the higher the risk of damage one can tolerate. The liver is massive and not defenseless. It has some ways of dealing with damage. Once hep B,C, or other hepatic enzymes are increased like in fatty infiltration, the ability to heal itself is slowed. Still, personally I choose not to use acetaminophen as I am able. When I do, 325 Mg. is all every 8h. If I could get Zohydro I would prefer it.

  20. Janice Reynolds at 7:52 am

    The idea of this law is ludicrous; it is based on hysteria (much like the witch hunts of the Middle Ages and Salem for example). This would put control over medication approval into the hands of mostly poorly educated people and perpetuating the myths addiction physicians and specialists excel at promoting. Congress, like many health care providers and certainly the general public lack education in the area of medication (especially opioids), pain, and persistent pain in particular-most comes from the media which for the most part prints (as well as in film and television), untruths, innuendo, and the use of non-pain experts using opinion as opposed to evidenced based information.
    Nearly all medication is dangerous. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are one case in point. It has been estimated that over 10,000 deaths a year occur from their use. There is a medication which is an antipsychotic and is black boxed saying it should not be used with patients with dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo and noted that this drug is not approved for this indication. Yet you see it frequently ordered for these patients. Most deaths related to opioids occur when used with alcohol, benzodiazepines, as well as with other medications.
    This law should not pass.

  21. Janice Reynolds at 6:24 am

    Rhonda Ward; many others have addressed your comments already, but please DO take it personally. Your opinions are based on erroneous information and you come across as prejudiced and biased against people living with persistent pain. Most people who take opioids for pain do not become addicted and there is no evidence to support otherwise. More people are likely to become alcoholics yet that does not stop the use of it. Opioids have worked for over a thousand years for the relief of pain yet now they are evil? People with persistent pain have been on stable doses for years without difficulties (and yes that is based on evidence).
    The management of pain is difficult because there are many pain syndromes which respond to interventions differently as well as individuals respond uniquely. There are few medications that are effective for pain by themselves however sometimes that is the case. More likely the use of these medications will decrease the need for the amount of opioids to be effective. There are many non-pharmacological interventions as well which will work in synergy with medication.
    The biggest problem with medications and non-pharmacological treatment is money. It is not because it is easier to write for opioids that this many times happens but it is more affordable. Many other medications are not (try $1200 a month) and most insurances will not pay for non-pharm treatments except physical therapy (and that may be an insufficient number of visits).
    So is your concern preventing addiction and deaths (that study by the way was poorly done and flawed in its conclusion) or is it more about kicking a population that strives to have quality of Life?

  22. Veronica at 6:28 pm

    John, I too, went through the numerous ‘quack job’ fixes to my many chronic pain issues. If there were only 1, I feel I could possibly overcome it…but alas, that’s not what life had in store for me. I also went thru the outrageous numbers of different meds available to attempt to stop, or alleviate, my pain, without taking any narcotics, with absolutely NO relief, and many severe allergic reactions. I’m also allergic to many of the narcotics out there, so am extremely limited to what I can, or should say can’t, take. I’m so damn angry that some person sitting in their high and mighty chair feels they have the right to decide what I can, or can’t take. Come take a walk in my shoes for just 1 day people, and I guarantee you will be crying yourself to sleep….that’s IF you can sleep at all!! I know you won’t be able to do the walk, and that’s a fact. Why should we all suffer because some people didn’t watch their significant other, child, or parent, and make sure they were taking the proper dosage?? I refuse to. Plain and simple. I won’t.

  23. John Sandherr at 1:56 pm

    To Rhonda Ward who wrote – Unfortunately, it will be harder to get but rest assure, I am certain that there is something else out there your doctor will be able to prescribe easily. There are many meds out there, doctors need to look at others instead of always picking up a pad of paper and prescribing opioids. There are others your doctor just have to have more knowledge of what’s out there.

    Rhonda, think prior to speaking for you know little about what you say.

    So tell us, what else is out there that will help us, please tell me.

    People in severe pain will try anything and I mean anything. Chiropractor, Stimulator Implant, PT, Other drugs, Relaxation therapy. There is not one thing I have not tried and I’m sure that goes for most pain patients so please don’t pretend to know what we go through. I do not chose to take these meds because I like them, dam, I hate them but they work much better than anything else approved by the FDA.

    After 10 or 11 back operations, I lost count after 10 I have severe nerve root impingement at 7 or 8 levels. Do you know what that feels like 24 hours a day ? I don’t believe you do or you wouldn’t take sides with the 2 nitwits from WV. If Tylenol helps you that’s great, get that liver checked often.

    Its people like you that we need to worry about because you dam sure don’t worry about us.

    Thanks and well No Thanks,

    John S

  24. John Sandherr at 1:33 pm

    When Zohydro was first approved I sent them an email thanking them for adding 1 more choice for Chronic Pain patients. The other thing I told them was to expect a lot of negative feedback from the government and the low information crowd. This was about a year ago and now how many states have made Zohydro Illegal or impossible to get – at last count I believe it was at 26.
    It’s Hydrocodone in extended release form yet many people have convinced their state to make it illegal to dispense.

    The last thing we need is a couple of elected nitwits from West Virginia telling the FDA how to approve any kind of medication for any reason they deem necessary. For these two in WV its about votes not safety, if they are so worried about drugs then they really should look into their Meth problem. West Virginia is making enough Meth to supply the entire country but I dont see them with any new ideas to stop that problem. If pain meds are such a big problem and they want to control them they still need to assure those of us that need them that our meds will not be stopped. Get a Pharmacology Degree and then you can advise the FDA but not instruct them.

    Again, this is all about Political Correctness because yes people have died as a result of pain meds. People have died as a result of car accidents, alcohol, cigarettes, Motrin, Tylenol, West Virginia moon shine, West Virginia Meth and the list goes on and on. The answer does not rest in simply getting rid of the drug it gets solved by making sure only the patients that need the drugs get them. Soon they will want to pass a Bill to take us out behind the town drug store and just shoot us. People can laugh and say that will never happen but I can guarantee you that one day – we will be the problem because we need the drugs – so their simple answer is to get rid of us – what and who is to stop them ? Haven’t our basic human rights been trampled on enough, how many of our constitutional rights have been revoked over these last 6 years. They can brake the law and get away with it and all we want is medication that gives us our dignity and quality of life back but no that’s a safety issue and we need to learn to go without – well I say, to HELL WITH YOU !

    Thanks and God bless,

    John S

  25. paita at 4:04 am

    Sue,,,jmo,u r correct,,I never looked at the ,”drug” aspect of our medicine,,sorry,,live on a farm in the middle of no-where,,but u r correct,,,the drug addicts see our medicines as drugs to get high on,,,its not our medicines that r problem,,that I knew,,obviously,,these drug addicts will just find something else,,if they can’t find our medicines,,,

  26. paita at 3:09 am

    To Sue,,,U need to write these senators,,,Ed’s blue letters in the article will get u to their web page,,I wrote them,,,,but forgot to tell them to look at N.P.R’s/comments on their asinine idea,,,but I did put in there ,,who are they to tell us how much we should suffer,,again,,and again,,,and again,,,

  27. deb moore at 12:31 am

    My question is how many of these overdoses have alcohol involved?
    There was a study done in Florida a few years ago. The statistics are made to benefit the particular groups point of view. In that study if a person died had any narcotics in their system their death was narcotic related. In other words if some is a chronic pain patient and someone is driving drunk and hits that person and kills them it’s a narcotic related death. Lets get real.
    Kentucky had a major prescription pain pill problem. The government fixed it. Now even chronic pain patients can’t get pain meds. Within the last couple of months the legislator had an emergency meeting. They are trying to figure out what to do about all the deaths from herion. The herion epidemic makes the prescription pain pill problem look like preschool.
    I had been on pain meds for fibromyalgia since 1996. Two years ago it was decided by the government…..not my doctor that I didn’t need them to begin with because you can’t see my pain on an xray. I didn’t go thru withdrawal. Now I can’t seem to find the courage to commit suicide (I’m afraid something would go wrong that would cause me even more pain) so now my constant prayer every night is I won’t wake up in the morning. I’m fighting for disability. Without pain meds I can barely see to my personal needs and some days I don’t shower cause the water hitting my skin just hurts too much. How am I supposed to even try working when most days it isn’t safe for me to drive cause turning the steering wheel or having to apply the break just hurts too much.
    One last thing……to the person that is of the opinion that there are solutions other than pain meds I would really like for them to tell me what those solutions are. I have tried so many things I can’t remember tem all. There are just a few…..hormone replacement therapy, electro medicine, 5 years of physical therapy, every antidepressant someone thought might help, lyrica (went off the deep end on that one. Of course I was one of the first to try it so my doctor told me it couldn’t happen), every diet anyone told me might help, several snake oils, let’s not forget seeing several shrinks cause it’s all in my head, and those are the things I can remember without thinking about it. Please tell me what other options I have.
    Please people write to your legislator and make your voice heard. If you can’t write make a phone call. Make your voice heard. There isn’t anyone that is going to look out for us if we don’t.

  28. Jack at 11:31 pm

    Replying to Rhonda:

    Many of us CPers have tried EVERYTHING. Many of us do our own research into our pain.

    You try spending decades in pain and see how it is. Then you can come back and say, “We can just try something else!…that isn’t there…but Drugs are bad, mmmmkay!”

    Insensitive jerks.

  29. AMY SCHNEIDER at 10:02 pm

    Take the acetameniphine out of the pain medication and no one will die from liver toxcity. It’s the tylenol that kills not the hydrocodone.

  30. AMY SCHNEIDER at 10:00 pm

    600 PLUS PEOPLE DIE PER YEAR IN BICYCLE ACCIDENTS, SHOUD WE TAKE BICYCLES AWAY FROM PEOPLE TOO?

  31. amie at 9:22 pm

    I do believe without a doubt lots of people abuse pain relief RX. But like most on here I to am suffering from debilitating pain that I was told was just going to get worse the older I get. I have only been taking the narcotic for two years and I also do not get a high from them. Tylenol pm are just as bad as far as the aspirin part, and if we can not get what helps we could take that and would have to take more than supposed to..which in turn could kill you. Doctors should be able to give their patients what helps with the pain. Pain like this causes severe depression and without the use of pain medication could be a bad thing

  32. Sue Booth at 7:59 pm

    i face everyday incredible pain. If I didn’t have the help of opioid pain meds I couldn’t live. My pain is so debilitating that my family would not have me as a functioning part in their lives. To lump the chronic pain sufferers into the same group as addicts and abusers in such an insult to us a people I want to hang my head and sob. I don’t abuse or take these meds to get high. In fact I really don’t understand why people want to have them to get high. I would never choose to feel sleepy or seek out a drug like these to,get high on. Those people will abuse what ever they can get their hands on to seek a high. I don’t want to,feel high I want to be able to control my pain enough to have some quality of life. I should be able to take advantage of these medications that can give me a better life. Please don’t take that away from me and my family who love me and want me to not suffer. My children and grandchildren have the right to enjoy a parent and grandparent. I take responsibility having these drugs in my home. I lock them up in a safe so only I have access to them. Those of you that are making these laws I am sure are trying to do something to control people from dying from overdoses caused from these medications. That is admirable but the way you are going about it is taking our right away to pursue happiness and the only way that can happen for chronic pain patients is access to the medication that was designed for that purpose. I can garentee you take if you or a loved one suffered from chronic pain you would make sure your or their pain could be controlled . Don’t put a law into effect that is a bad law just because you feel pushed to do something. Slow down and get the kind of information you need from Dr’s in the trenches with these kind of patients. You are tying their hands as Physicians who can’t care for their patients who need the drugs made to help them. Make sure the laws you create are targeting the right people not punish the suffering.give as much time to making laws that don’t harm innocent people.the people,that break the laws to use drugs to get high are going to get high on something. Please give as much consideration to chronic pain suffers as you are giving to drug addicts.

  33. Veronica at 6:32 pm

    I’ve been in chronic pain for almost 20 years now. I’m also allergic to most of the pain meds out there, including morphine. I also do not get any ‘high’, nor any other feelings from any pain med, ever. What I do get is some relief from the severe pain I live in daily. As to the people who take overdoses….I firmly believe if not for the pain meds, they would find something else to overdose on. If one wants to go badly enough, they will find a way. For some dingbat who has never in their life had to go through the pain I live in daily, tell me that I don’t deserve any relief…well, that tells me that I’m not worthy of anything, so why live?? I feel I’m not the only one who feels this way, undoubtedly. How dare any person tell me I shouldn’t get relief from my pain?? I’ve been through numerous pain clinics, all kinds of therapies, etc., and in the end all any doctor has is to give me pain meds to try to help me get through each day. Even those don’t take all of my pain away, but they sure help….as I’ve quit them cold turkey (also had no side effects from doing so), gone without, and know exactly what benefit they do provide from doing so. Take them away permanently??? You will undoubtedly have a lot more suicides on your hands than you will be able to account for….

  34. Robbin King at 6:24 pm

    These politicians are down right stupid. The only thing is going to come of this is illegal drugs being used to control pain. It will probably turn pain patients into criminals. Makes no sense at all. As far as suicide goes, there is more than one way to kill yourself. I wonder how many pain patients have turned to heroin and have died from that drug. Seems to me the only drug war they want to fight is the legal drug war. An overdose of Tylenol, or too much alcohol consumption can kill you, yet you can buy both from any grocery store. Everyone needs to write their representatives. Flood their e-mail!

  35. kate at 6:15 pm

    I bet you 99.9 percent of this death toll due to opioid use is due to people miss using them or purposely overdosing. If you truly have chronic pain you will not become addicted! I also guarantee your death tolls will go up if you take away opioids because people that have chronic pain won’t be able to handle their pain. It will become so unbearable that they will think they can’t make it Through life any more and will commit suicide! I am all for opioids being restricted by doctors so people that don’t need them can’t get them but seriously doctors should be the only ones who should make the call of who needs them and who doesn’t. We see our doctors every month if not sooner, they know us on a personal basis. If the government is controlling opioids how will that ever work? You don’t see us face to face, you don’t know if we need them, you won’t even know our 1st name much less our last name so how can you determine I’d we need them….you won’t. I agree that opioids do need to be monitored closely because they are misused by the bad people in the world but I am a chronic pain sufferer who has to take pain medicine everyday just to make my pain tolerable, so if you have and goodness in your heart please don’t make us chronic pain sufferers suffer because of the bad people in the world. That would be like us asking you guys to take guns away from cops because guns kill people ever day when in reality if you took guns away from cops the death toll would go up, just like if you take opioids away from people the death toll would go up because people would be committing suicide because the pain was unbearable or the use of unsafe street drugs would go up because they would need something to numb the pain. And at that point the death toll really would increase because street drugs are not safe and the crime rates would sky rocket. So please don’t pass this because it will turn chaotic and very bad very quick. Don’t abuse your powers because you think it’s right because you guys don’t understand what it’s like to live your life in chronic pain. Most of us with chronic pain take as less opioids as we can just to make our pain manageable and not make it go away completely because let’s face it the people who really need them wish we didn’t have to take them because we don’t use them to get high, it’s just another pill we have to swallow everyday to make our life bearable and we hate doing it! If it was up to us we would never take them again if our pain just went away one day. So I hope who is ever trying to pass this bill reads these comments and find it in your heart to seriously consider these comments from all of us chronic pain sufferers!

  36. Kathy Cones at 4:02 pm

    This is out of hand. Like the bad kid in school.We ALL get punished. Chronic pain is a horrible life I have lived it for 7 years now. The last thing we need is to have this controlled in this manner.I would give anything Not to have to take pain medication. I have spent so much money on different doctors and specialist so in hopes I could get off pain meds. I do not agree that everyone gets addicted. I am Not…..I take what the doctors say I need and use it accordingly, meaning if I happen to have a decent day The med is the last thing I think of. I don’t run to my medicine cabinet just because it’s been 4 or 6 hours…instead I rejoice that I didn’t have to take them. Make it harder for chronic pain people to get some relief, you won’t be counting overdoses you will count suicides instead. We suffer in so many ways our family sometimes support chronic pain sufferers and some don’t. I believe in total honesty and share with my close family so we all know the situation at hand. I am lucky that my family sees and knows how the pain has affected me.they would also recognize if I would abuse.but no need there I can see myself what street drugs do as I have lost family member die and or come close to death because of addiction. WHY WHY DO PEOPLE WHO ARE IN CHRONIC PAIN HAVE TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS.We have enough stress ailments for government FDA TO HURT US EVEN MORE. THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY THAN TO PUNISH CHRONIC PAIN. STARTS WITH OUR DR.KNOWING US AND OUR PHARMACY WORKING WITH DR.AND PATIENT. WALK A DAY IN MY SHOES !!!!!!.

  37. Rhonda ward at 2:52 pm

    unfortately, I agree with this. I think they need to be 100 times more strict when prescribing and giving out opioids. Too many people get addicted to them and it does start with prescription meds that the patient is prescribed. Those who really need it for pain and do not have addictive behaviors. Unfortunately, it will be harder to get but rest assure, I am certain that there is something else out there your doctor will be able to prescribe easily. There are many meds out there, doctors need to look at others instead of always picking up a pad of paper and prescribing opioids. There are others your doctor just have to have more knowledge of what’s out there.

  38. BL at 2:46 pm

    If you make comments to any politicians or really anyone, be sure your comments are intelligent and based on facts, not assumptions and anger.

  39. Kathleen Romanovic at 2:39 pm

    I would like to know how many physicians are in the Senate and if the ones introducing the bill are physicians as well. It has been documented in clinical trials not to mention my personal experience that if you are in severe enough pain to require an opiod then the body will not become addicted. I have been taking narcotics since 1996. I have as of yet to become addicted. How do I know I’m not addicted. First I don’t experience a buzz or high from taking my pain medication. Second, I decide which narcotic or how much ( safe amount according to the PDR and my prescription) I take. If it is bad I will take the max the prescription is written for. If it isn’t I’ll take the lower dose or sometimes even break them in half if that is doable ie no enteric coating. I have never had a withdrawal experience of any kind. It already takes approximately 7 years to get a drug approved by the FDA. By throwing these restrictions into the mix plus forcing it to go to the Senate, there is no way that the pain meds will ever get to those of us who need them. Drug companies may very well stop doing research and development on new and improved pain medications because by the time they get approval, it is very likely that their patent will have expired. Instead of Senators playing Dr, why not let the FDA do it’s job. Oh just as an aside, they have singled out pain meds but what about the diabetic medication Actos? Years ago the FDA approved it and it has now been discovered to cause bladder cancer. I don’t see any Senators up in arms over the potential harm being caused to diabtics. Maybe we should be asking why they are singling out patients with chronic pain instead of diabetics or any other patient group who’s medications have been discovered to cause problems.

  40. paita at 2:20 pm

    Pretty much what u just wrote,,I clicked on one of the ,”blue letters,;’;; in the article Ed wrote and wrote to this senator,,pretty much what u just said,,,maybe take the time for you also to write this so.b.,,,he has a senator website,,,i was not nice in my comment,,but I was real,,

  41. Bill Halper at 1:48 pm

    Why must they insist upon saying that they are watching out for America and the American people? 46 deaths daily? Let’s see, if we have 30 million people in the U.S. (I just picked the number), the percentage of those who die supposedly from an overdoes is so small, I can’t even give an percentage! I do not have a problem with the DEA and/or Feds being a bit more stringent for those with perscriptions (confirm with the doctor, non-refillable Rx’s on these) as it protects us if they don’t abuse the power where we are treated like criminals or worse, drug addicts. Sadly there are some within these agencies that have some power, and will abuse it by making it more difficult for us to receive our needed medications. Personally I feel the powers that be should understand what it is we are going through, learn everything about chronic pain, fibromyalgia, cancer pain (nasty!) and all others. They need to be educated and fully informed with the truth, the whole truth!!! Do not put us into a catagory as abusers or addicts, we aren’t! Frankly if I didn’t have my medications to thwart some of the pain, I would be dead! I for one cannot live with such horrid pain, 24/7 with no relief! We need people, not politicians, who have empathy or at least understanding of what it is we are all going through!

  42. Carrie at 1:46 pm

    46 people…and if they are suicide -it’s likely that they were not able to get enough relief from the intractable pain. Numbers and “data” are more often than not a manipulation for the person who is selling you their own point of view. But most of the pain patients KNOW that if they admit that it’s a suicide that all those who need medication will face even MORE difficulty in getting adequate treatment. Perhaps a much needed insurance policy won’t pay.”Accidental” overdose is the best remedy for many suffering. Other countries have legal medication not available in the US. Oh; the “war on drugs” well – Prohibition didn’t work. Other countries have found that even Herion addicts who are allowed legal, safe, controlled environment to get the daily dose can lead productive lives – they have time for a job etc now that they don’t have to worry about the next dose. But in the US we are ignoring real life successes to cling to a broken system that is doing a disservice to all the elements of the equation! We have a for profit prison system. The medication for those who are suffering daily when with some adjustments to their doses could at least take them off the suicide statistics and decriminalization could begin to help heal so many of the other reasons for the national level of “self medicating ” that is taking place!

  43. nancy r at 12:58 pm

    46 deaths a day from prescription drug opioids. Could they have died for another reason? For another prescription drug, not an opioid? Is it a suicide? Is it from an allergy or side effect? Please let us know how these numbers were calculated. The information is murky.
    Thank you.

  44. Kimberly Cornilsen at 11:30 am

    Since when did the Senate get medical degrees and an education in addiction. They’re worried about addiction so much, maybe they should ban alcohol again. Drunk drivers kill

  45. BL at 10:33 am

    Where do they get these numbers ? Were drug levels and autopsys done ? I read a government report a while back that stated this vital info was missing. It seems that if someone dies of any cause and they are prescribed opiates, they say that is the cause of death. It would be great if the media would become interested in the missing info, although they never will.

  46. paita at 10:30 am

    butttttI did click on some blue part Ed had on that page,,and emailed the S.O.B,,,,with my thoughts,,paita

  47. paita at 10:01 am

    Great,,, tried to comment on the page Ed gave us,,,won’t let u comment!!!!!!!!!Another death sentence to all of us,,,another abuse of ,”just power”,,,based upon b.s. data,,,,no-one checks that number 46,,,to see if it was actual suicides do they,,nope,,they just use it to demonize our medicine,,,,we need help and we need it fast!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. BRENDA MYERS at 8:36 am

    This is just another way to keep pain patients in misery. I think it is rediculous!! The amount of drugs out there on the street/ black market do not come from a pain patients 30 pills a month prescriptions. It is in bulk amounts. I think the fact that our FDA and DEA are “against us” in this war against drugs which has become a war against the people. As voting americans- we need to vote against these reps that are doing this