National Pain Report Readers Sound Off

National Pain Report Readers Sound Off

National Pain Report readers continue to have strong disagreement with the federal government and its role on the supply and dispensing of pain medication. Some recent letters to the National Pain Report indicate a desire for action.

Kelly Wadsworth is a CRPS patient who says that her local pharmacies are telling her they don’t have the supply to fill legitimate prescriptions.

She wants action: “I would like to know which public officials need to be contacted to get some action taken about the short supply of hydrocodone in our cities…there are more chronic pain patients needing this medication than the regulated supplies given to the pharmacies each month! I had to go to 5 different pharmacies to fill my legitimate triplicate prescription and was told that this is an ongoing epidemic.”

Gerard Genovese is a 66 year old Las Vegas man who sent us a long thoughtful note. His problem has been finding doctor.

He was an active youth and man - who played football baseball and ran marathons. In 2003 he was involved in a head-on auto accident in which he fractured four vertebrae, all his ribs and both his ankles among other things.

His pain doctor “released him” and he’s not been able to find another pain doctor who will take him as a patient.

His frustration was palpable. “I need a doctor that will listen to me,” he wrote. “Not one who tells that I don’t hurt.”  Gerard has been on disability since 2007 and thanked us for our work at the National Pain Report.

“I just want to be believed,” he said.

Heidi Winkler is a 50 year old woman who is also from Las Vegas and says she has “faced humiliation, the same looks, the same monthly stress” when she picks up her medication. It’s at the pharmacy where she feels uncomfortable.

Her doctor has been “working with me”, she says, calling them “compassionate, understanding and wanting to help.” The doctor even writes her prescriptions early.

But her pharmacy (a CVS store) - where she’s been going for ten years - has changed its policy, she says and will no longer fill prescriptions at the 28 days point.

She’s looking for a new pharmacy.

The National Pain Report has been promoting a survey being conducted by Terri Lewis Ph.D. Dr. Lewis indicates that many of the issues our readers were talking about are surfacing in that survey as well, which she says has some very interesting results. We’ll be publishing this as she gets the data developed and analyzed.  Here’s the survey link if you want to take it.

For another of our readers, Australian Elizabeth Gilhooley, it wasn’t access to physicians or pharmacists. It was simply a thank you.

“I have read them all, your articles with great interest and they have helped me greatly. Each one has been very useful indeed. Thank you for all your articles. I have shared all your findings with friends in a similar position with me as regards to pain. Thank you once again for all the information and insights they have given me.”

Thank you, Elizabeth and all of our National Pain Report readers.

These responses came from readers who received our monthly newsletter. If you’d like to join that list, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter at the top of this page.

If you have comments or story ideas, let us know by emailing me.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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I just want to say that I feel so bad for everyone put in this position but mostly for us older folks who have worked our tails off all our lives to be able to retire in comfort. Only life had other plans for us giving us all sorts of chronic ailments and instead of enjoying our last days we are crying and fighting for our pain medications that we never wanted. What has this world come to, to treat people in pain like they are all sinners. I pray for help for us all.


If you have regular Medicare you can go to the Medicare website and put Physician Compare in the search bar. If you have Medicaid through a Medicaid Management Care Organization you can go to that companies website to locate a physician. If you are receiving Louisiana Medicaid, they do not pay for pain management of chronic pain and no Pain Drs in Louisiana will accept Regular Medicaid. Medicare with Medicaid is not the same as Regular Medicaid. If a pain dr is listed that only means they accept Medicaid if Medicare is your primary. Again this only concerns Louisiana Medicaid.

For those who have insurance and can’t find a provider to take care of your needs.. you need to contact your insurance company.. Most likely they have a network of physicians and pharmacies that are within their network.. that have agreed to treat pts with the particular insurance. Tell the insurance company.. you will probably have to talk to someone higher up than those who just answer the phone.. that they need to find a provider to take care of your needs that covered under your policy.. If they blow you off… contact state insurance commissioner or if you are on Medicare/Medicaid/Medicare Advantage… and tell them that your insurance company is compromising your quality of life… by not helping you find someone to treat your medical issues and committing fraud for accepting premiums and not providing covered services

Rev Smith

I concur I drive 54mi one way to a privately owned and operated mom and pop pharmacy it’s always the same pharmacist and his wife or daughter they know me and take the time to really get to know there paitens as he calls us it is my opinion that mom and pop pharmacies should be utilized as much as possible the only way to fight big chain pharmacy corporate entities is to hit them in the pocket or use your mail order pharmacy with many insurance companies have they usually go by the laws that are in place and don’t make up there own more restrictive police’s


Unfortunately, at least where I live, changing pharmacies is no longer an option. I have tried, as my pharmacy is routinely out of my or my husband’s medication, and I was told at every other pharmacy that they aren’t taking new patients with regard to pain medication.


Kelly, every year the Federal Registery publishes the amount of active ingredients that they will give pharmecutical companies. There is a comment period where people can comment on the amount. Everyone that is affected by a drug shortage of
Schedule II meds needs to take the time to be on the look out for this and to comment on it.

Gerald, a lot depends on why your dr released you. Get a copy of your medical records and read them. Is it that a dr won’t lizten or that they won’t prescribe you the meds you want in the dosage you want.

Heidi, we can’t control what others think. But we can control how we respond to it. You could also change pharmacys.