Oregon Opioid Policy Drawing Fire From Pain Leaders and Physicians

Oregon Opioid Policy Drawing Fire From Pain Leaders and Physicians

By Ed Coghlan.

Chronic Pain Leaders and pain physicians are ripping the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission forced taper opioid guidelines it may approve on August 9th. The new policy would impact Oregon Medicaid recipients. The changes include a forced taper for all chronic pain patients on opioids (within a year), no exceptions. Opioids will be replaced with alternative treatments (cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), acupuncture, mindfulness, pain acceptance, aqua therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and treatment with non-opioid medications, such as NSAIDS, Acetaminophen).

“Persecution of patients with pain is an abomination. Persecution of financially-disadvantaged patients with pain is an abomination and an atrocity. What can these ignorant policy-makers be thinking?!” said Michael E. Schataman, Ph.D. who is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pain Research and the Director of Research and Network Development at Boston Pain Care.

One of the nation’s top fibromyalgia physicians lives in Oregon. Dr. Ginevra Liptan founded the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia in Portland, Oregon. On Twitter, she was unsparing in her criticism of the idea.

“This is NOT the right approach-fibromyalgia patients need more pain management tools NOT less” she tweeted. “As a fibromyalgia specialist in Oregon, this change would be devastating to my patients. I strongly urge any and all of you to comment on this policy. You don’t have to live in Oregon to do so, and it would be catastrophic for this to pass and set a precedent for future legislation.”

For Bob Twillman, Ph.D., who is Executive Director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management urges HERC to slow down.

“We are still trying to get all the details we need to understand exactly who would be affected, and who wouldn’t. But we can say that the idea of tapering people already being treated with long-term opioid therapy is fraught. It is unsupported by evidence, logically inconsistent with other aspects of their opioid policy, and increases the risk that patients will experience decreased pain control and function, with no option to stop the taper or reverse course if that happens. It’s clearly not a well-thought-out idea,” Dr. Twillman told the National Pain Report.

A Roseburg, Oregon physician says in Douglas County, the Comprehensive Care Organization that manages care already has been denying chronic pain patients opiate medications since 2013. He claims despite the fact that the Oregon Health Plan says certain medications should be and are covered expenses, Umpqua Health Alliance clinics and doctors deny patients these medications so they can save their program money that gets distributed to those providers at the end of the year as bonuses.

“Denying patients governmentally approved treatments and more all for the sake of bigger year-end bonuses is unethical but common practice here in Oregon,” said Dr. Darryl George D.O. “They also deny many other medications in their efforts to control costs.”

Dr. George also pointed out at the recent Oregon Pain Guidance statewide conference in Eugene, it was clearly stated to the audience that too many providers are tapering their chronic pain patients too fast.

“Those providers don’t care if you go into withdrawal,” he said. “The faster they get you off opiates, the better THEY feel. They have been doing a poor job with pain management because they don’t pay attention to what they are doing; misread drug tests, no PDMP checks, cut-and-paste chart notes, no physicals, etc.”

Two Oregon women—both chronic pain patients—have been working to bring attention to the policy changes that they believe will hurt chronic pain patients in the state. And neither want us to publish their last names for concerns about retribution to the doctors who treat them.

As Dr. Liptan indicated, people—in Oregon and beyond- can comment about the process. HERC has suggested that comments should be received by August 1st, in order to guarantee that they are read by HERC committee members. Oregon law demands that committee members receive a packet 7 day in advance of the meeting, including public comments.

To send your comments about the policy change, send an email to herc.info@state.or.us. HERC suggests you submit the comment no later than August 1st. The comments are limited to 1000 words and it is recommended you put “VbBS” in the subject line to assure your comment is part of the record.

Editor’s Note—if you send comments to HERC, please share them in the comments section of the National Pain Report.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Opiods are necessary for many patients whonhave exhausted all alternatives, are closely monitored and have been or are seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist for mental health to avoid suicidal attempts and hain cooing skills.

I was in a bad auto accidentnin 2009. Suffered head trauma, neck, dental, lower back to include multiple herniated discs, severes nerve damage and developed a painful muscle disorder called dystonia. Inhave had 2 invasive neck surgeries with donor discs and 2 fusions plus many other invasive radio frequency anlations, physical therapy which made me worse, injections and a variety of pain medications that all failed. I do take opiods and am closely monitored and saw 3 psychologists to help me cope with my debilitaing chrinic pain.
THe time released pain medications helped and the opiods brought down my depression and severe anxiety. I recently had another very invasive surgery with a 2 part process. I kow have an implanted spinal cord stimulator. It is helping bring my pain levels down and finally after 9 horrific years, I am having relief. However, we will mot ween my pain meds until my body and stimulator have had a 6 month evaluation of quality of life and then discuss possibly lowering my pain medications. I went from being in bed 3-5 plus days a week ar level 7-10 plus pain levels to one episode a week for 2 days and the rest at 0-3. I must control my activity level and neck movements or it can trigger another episode.
I see much improvement, however, it is early and may take a combination of the spinal cord stimulator and reduced meds to hive me qualitynof life.
My pain management physician/surgeon has always monitored me closely, I do drug tests and have a strong spiritual life. But, unless you experience this high level of debilitaing pain chave exhausted all other alternatives, and are at the point of suicide, itnis illogical nto make any statements or try to remove opiods usage.
Stricter guidelines I see necessary, having psychiatric or seeing a psychologist to help you with coping skills and to determine iyour mental state should be a must.
I was an extremey healthy, active, full of lfe woman who was running her own business and climbing 14’ers here in CO. Inloved my workouts with my family, running 10 miles in the mountains ,jumping rope for an hour and lifting weights. I had many hobbies and loved to travel. My family was
my greatest joy and spending time with them.
This ALL stopped after the accident. My husband who is a physician quit his career to be my caregiver for I had cervical vertigo. He pushed for time released narcotics and opiods to have a more stable medication result. They saved my life. Not the opposite.

Joe Kramer

herc.info@state.or.us. Is not a valid email address. What a shame these people get away with this ignorance.


I live In Oregon. NO freaking doctor will prescribe any type of pain medication. Everyone is labeled as an addict. I’m thankful cannabis is legal or I would have no life at all. I no longer discuss my pain with my doctors but resort to treating myself. It’s a shame. No one cares. Accept that now.


My letter submitted July 22,
I have fibromyalgia, nerve pain in my feet, constant intractable migraine, severe restless legs, psoriatic arthritis in my knees, back and neck pain, depression, ptsd, and constant inflammation. I currently have a prescription for oxycodone for my pain. It has allowed me to do minor household chores and sometimes participate in family functions instead of being bedridden. I am on disability and cannot work so having a little independence is huge for me. Prior to using oxycodone I had tried numerous medications, I have three implanted stimulators for pain, I have seen numerous doctor’s in different fields trying to deal with the pain, I have had a pain pump and tried several medications in the pain pump, opiates and non-opiates. I’ve also tried medical marijuana, message therapy, chiropractic, physical therapy, neurofeedback therapy, counseling, biofeedback, nerve blocks and injections, hospitalization, all without any success. I have a daily battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. If I were forced off opiates it would severally impact my ability to move around and participate in life. I would be close to bedridden and my suicidal tendencies would be overpowering. I try to not be a burden on my family and to contribute to the household even if it’s just doing the dishes or laundry, without opiates I would not be able to even do small chores that most people take for granted. Just taking a shower is exhausting.

Please think about chronic pain patients. So many working people take things like showering, cooking dinner, cleaning, doing the laundry, for granted. Think about how you feel when you have the flu, how everything seems to ache and feels heavy, how you lay in bed feeling miserable, call in sick to work, making a cup of tea feels tiring. Now imagine feeling like that on a daily basis for years. Yes, there is an addiction problem but instead of focusing on the making and distribution of illegal fentanyl or other opiates, people want to just get rid of pills. Please take a moment to think about the lives that will be destroyed by forcing people off of long term opiate use. Not everyone is an addict, opiates provide a small break from debilitating pain, allowing some people to work who otherwise couldn’t and allows people like me to not feel trapped and beaten by pain.


I live in Florida. As an RN for 18 years with osteoarthritis, cervical mylopathy and fibromyalgia,…this one size fits all makes zero sense. Are all of those that drink alcohol l, alcoholics? Juuls are a public health crisis. Smoking is too…but there is money to be made. Get out of my doctors office!

Pamela Check

Regarding Opiates and Chronic Pain

It is outrageous that politics has decided that, because of the deaths of some addicts, that all pain sufferers who use opioids should do without their pain medication. This has led to the horrifyingly absurd, such as cutting off or cutting down even those dying of cancer “because they might get hooked”. Politics and government have come into the exam room and are standing between the patient and the doctor.

People who suffer from chronic pain need their pain medication (ie, opiates) to be able to perform basic everyday tasks. To take away the only medication that helps them, especially those who are most financially vulnerable, is to impose authoritarianism onto an egalitarian society that takes all control away from the patient.

In short, you are screwing the poor to give to the rich, and I’m not good with that. Knock it off.

Phil Kraker

(portion cut off by the program limitation. This is part two of my email to the Oregon HERC)

, with all the side effects that would normally turn the average person to keep looking for another alternative. But there isn’t another alternative for most of us.

To that, I have only one thing to say to you: I pray to God you or one of YOUR loved ones contract one or, as with most of us, two or more of the diseases we suffer from, and are forced to live under the awful sentence you are leaving your disabled citizens to endure. Oh yeah, I have become bitter in my old age – made worse by disgusting, thoughtless animals like your HERC. You pretend to appear so concerned with the opioid problem but instead of doing something more difficult, like stopping the smuggling of Heroin and fentanyl, you go after the lowest hanging fruit – your disabled and their prescription medication. You pretend to care but you then turn your medically disabled citizens who are dependent on opioid prescriptions for their life lines from thoughts of suicide to nothing more than street junkies. Most of you politicians will actually run on this “great achievement” in your next elections; with puffed up chests and a vainglorious attitude of superiority while proclaiming, “We DID something about the opioid problem in America” (even while the death tolls rise from overdosing and suicide. You will have done nothing but cause pain, in the end and, in time, will be thrown on the ash heap of failed drug war attempts in America )

Who knew that one day, paradoxically, good citizens like us, many of whom are also concerned about the plague of narcotics in our society, would be forced by our own government to have to consider the narcotics trafficker as our only hope for pain relief??

Sent from Mail by Phil Kraker

Phil Kraker

When I read what the Oregon HERC is doing to the weakest among their citizens, those just above a fetus in their ability to protect themselves, and knowing this could set precedent for others to follow, I felt an immediate revulsion in my gut. You see, I am one of those people who live in fear of my own government coming after me.

While 30+ senators are ready to push a bill in congress to REDUCE the sentences of traffickers of POUNDS of heroin to as little as FIVE years, even while they feign abhorrence over the number of people dying of overdose in America, They, and more particularly YOU (and I do not say this lightly) are punishing those of us whose only escape from a body that has become a cage – much like the Iron Maiden, used in Medieval Europe, the Chinese Iron Maiden during the Ming Dynasty and not unlike the Rack – depending on the way our nerves have decided to inflict pain upon each of us that day, as we are all different except in that one way that unites us all; a life that leaves us usually wishing for death and an end to our unceasing pain, but for one thing; a variation of an Opioid. That is what stands between many of us and the decision to end our suffering by way of suicide . Our one salvation turns out not to be our government or medical establishment but instead would be their getting out of the way of our relationship with a handful of empathetic doctors and our pharmacies. These drugs are our last hope for our making the decision to carry on with life in spite of the constant suffering we must endure for the rest of our lives.

Just when we finally have come to accept that our lot in life is pretty much defined by constant agony of both our diseases and fear of our doctors cutting us off of, or reducing, our pain medications, because of our doctors fearing retribution from the medical establishment associations/boards, YOU heartless %@$^@&#$ come up with a draconian plan to not only deprive those handicapped people of their only salvation from their constant agony – whipping them into withdrawal in many cases & causing their suffering to increase exponentially, you basically tell them to go and learn how to accept it or die of renal failure from far too many doses of NSAIDs as some sort of viable alternative – as if we hadn’t already exhausted all those options BEFORE we came to accept that our only real relief would be an opiate, (Letter cut off by limitations here)


I am, along with millions of other Americans, on the other end of opioids. I am on the end of the chronic pain disease epidemic. I am a patient with chronic incurable pain diseases.
As the CDC, DEA and Medicaid and medicare, and numerous other government agencies are blaming Doctors for the over prescribing of medication, NOBODY, is looking at or reading the statistics from chronic pain disease patients. How about not addressing these drugs as dangerous and addictive. Let’s look at them as lifesaving and medically necessary medications for the million of us in chronic pain. Chronic pain is a disease. It is now becoming an epidemic.
No other disease medication is scrutinized. Chronic pain is a disease. We, as patients, are being denied, dismissed and overlooked by our physicians due to all the scrutiny associated with treating chronic pain diseases. Our physicians are afraid to treat us adequately. We have diseases that medication is readily accessible to us and we are being denied. We pain patients are truly being discriminated against, due to people who use illegal fentanyl and heroin. The opioids we use as medications are life saving and as chronic pain disease patients, we benefit from these medications.
We have a chronic disease. We want to be able to take care of our homes, our children, ourselves, as much as possible, but without access to these, potentially, life saving medications, we are unable to do so. We want to live, not just exist in pain 24/7.
We need the government agencies to look at the real statistics, not the hand picked.
We need help. With all the headlines, topics and stories on how opioids are bad, let’s look at what good they do for our diseases of chronic pain and the million of Americans they help.
We take our medications as prescribed, legally. We benefit from these medications. WE ARE PATIENTS NOT ADDICTS.
I do not live in Oregon, I live in Wisconsin. They begin this thete it will be catastrophic for every state, and every patient, not just us, chronic pain patients. Above is the comment I emailed.


Submitted July 31st (Part 2):
I notice your proposal limits the alternative treatments to 30/year – total! And then what? These alternatives do not help me enough even if I used two per week, which is well over 100 treatments per year. And I have moderate pain – I know people who are in agony, and you’d cut them off both from opioids AND alternatives after 30 treatments?? That is surely malpractice and lawsuit material. You are putting doctors at risk for malpractice suits, or making them choose to give up their pain patients to avoid that risk!

Nothing in your proposal addresses palliative care for chronic pain conditions. Your proposal assumes that if a patient does not respond sufficiently to short term opiods and 30 alternative treatments, then they are at fault and just SOL. That is heartless, unethical, and absolutely not evidence-based. As a retired mental health therapist, I can tell you that CBT is just another word for “live with it” – another heartless response to people in legitimate pain. I also dispute your Appendix A chart that lists “antidepressants” as having fewer side effects than opioids. Dangerously untrue!!

I noticed there is nothing in your policies to restrict Medicaid patients from alcohol or cigarettes, both of which contribute significantly to health problems and both of which constitute addictions for some. Opioids are being singled out for political reasons. There is already data showing that cutting prescriptions has not reduced overdoses, because those were from street drugs all along (see experts’ letter above).

I am very glad I am not on Medicaid, but I fear that Medicare in OR will take this up as well, and I will become housebound and dysfunctional instead of independent and managing with my chronic pain. I urge you to reconsider this extreme and unwarranted policy! Even the CDC doesn’t advocate anything this harsh!


Submitted July 31st (part 1):
Firstly, I applaud the information and opinions expressed in the comment by Goldberg, Rieder, Nicholson, Mayar, et al. – they are experts and disapprove highly! https://nationalpainreport.com/u-s-chronic-pain-practitioners-and-scientists-comment-on-oregon-forced-taper-proposal-8836865.html

I have decades of osteoarthritis of the spine and other joints and two artificial hips, one of which was installed badly. I also have interstitial cystitis. I have used acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, PT, TENS unit, NSAIDs, Tylenol and relaxation therapies. (I already have GI bleeding from the NSAIDs.) These treatments help but do not replace my medicine. And each of them takes a block of time (45 min drive to acupuncture) and costs from $15-$60, which on Disability is beyond my budget for regular use. My medicine costs me about four dollars a month, takes a half hour to pick up and a minute to swallow, and allows me to be functional and live independently. I’ve finished and had published a novel, 4 books of poems and 6 short stories, keep a garden and chickens, volunteer as a Master Food Preserver, among other things. You are not considering a patient’s real life with this proposal. Functionality and quality of life is important, and the low risk for most prescription opioid users does not warrant the grievous daily losses this policy would create. Imagine if you treated diabetes this way. Taper from insulin, and give CBT to deal with symptoms! You are treating chronic pain as if it were imaginary.

There’s nothing in your proposal that shows any willingness to work with a patient who tries these alternatives in good faith but does not benefit enough to be functional at the same level as their medicines allowed. Your proposal also assumes that taking opioids always leads to addiction and loss of function – that is purely a lie. There are hundreds of testimonies about the increasing functionality that opioids give to those in pain. Here is one more: https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/treatments/pharmacological/opioids/opioid-treatment-10-year-longevity-survey-final-report

Richard A Lawhern PhD

Submitted July 19th

I have read the minutes of your June 7, 2018 meeting, with draft Appendix (attached). On behalf of thousands of Oregon pain patients, I implore you to cease, halt, and desist! You appear to be proposing forced withdrawal of medically appropriate and safe opioid therapy from accepted practice throughout Oregon. Such a step is profoundly unsupported by medical evidence and will be reliably destructive to the lives of people who are already in agony.

I draw your attention to a recently published US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality systematic outcomes review for non-pharmacological, non-invasive therapies in chronic pain. Several alternatives proposed by your Task Force are addressed in that review. After a year of trials analysis and a survey of over 4500 published titles, AHRQ evaluated the state of published medical evidence as “weak” for this class of therapies, with very few exceptions.

After carefully analyzing the AHRQ report, I and Steven E Nadeau, MD (CC) submitted the attached paper to Practical Pain Management - a mainstream medical journal read by thousands of physicians. We are informed that an edited version of the paper will run as the lead editorial in their October 2018 print edition. This does not, of course, imply an unreserved endorsement for our research.

A central observation of our paper is fundamental to the work of the Oregon Task Force: No non-pharmacological therapies for chronic pain have yet completed Phase II or Phase III trials. Proposals to substitute these experimental methods for
FDA-approved opioid therapy comprise a profound violation of widely accepted standards of medical evidence. Denial of opioid therapy also constitutes a substantive risk to patient welfare and even life itself.

You are at risk of killing patients with misdirected public policy!

Also of concern to the Task Force should be the reality that we now know beyond any possible contradiction that America’s opioid “crisis” was not created and is not being sustained by imaginary doctor “over-prescription” of opioid pain relievers. When CDC published State by State statistics on rates of doctor prescribed opioid analgesics are compared to statistics on opioid overdose related mortality, we find no correlations and no trend lines. The contribution of medically managed opioids to our rising mortality statistics is so small that it vanishes into the noise.


My name is Molly Canfield and I will list for you the alternative therapies I have tried, or been coerced to accept, in my decades long battle with chronic pain: NSAIDs, physical therapy (3x), prednisone(caused panic attacks, racing pulse), aquatic aerobics, mindfulness training, CBT, acupuncture, steroid injections, trigger point injections, spinal nerve ablation (these last 3 were required therapies which I had to try before my pain management dr would prescribe opiods), a full back brace , 2 vertebral fusion surgeries. All these alternative therapies were tried, multiple times, over a period of about 25 years. A car accident in 2016 left me with 3 broken spinal bones and in a full back brace for 3 months, my orthopaedic surgeon said, “I can’t operate on your spine again.” it left me with a 15 degree curve in my spine similar to scoliosis. After one heartless pain management dr told me ” I just don’t think you’re hurting that much.” those 3 broken bones were finally detected using a bone scan and I was able to go to a new pain management dr who treated me with muscle relaxants, nerve pain medication and opioids. And, guess what?! I now return to a part time job,can keep my house clean and sometimes visit my elderly mom.My urine is tested every 30 day. I have signed a Pain Contract. I have never asked for an early refill or been found with illicit drugs in my system. My medications do not make me high. They allow me to have a somewhat normal life. Although I’m still in pain, it’s not the first thing on my mind. My family and my future are though. And right now, I fear for what my children may have to suffer through given the criminalization of opioids.
What’s next? Childbirth, root canals and vasectomies without pain relief?! Let’s see the politicians try “pain acceptance” following a hard kick to the crotch. As one particularly callous neurologist said to me, upon seeking his care for migraine headaches, “Pain never killed any one.”
Perhaps these beaurocrats will open their eyes and hearts when someone in their families becomes a prisoner of chronic pain.


Thank you, Dr. GEORGE! You have been Southern Oregon Chronic pain patients biggest advocate! I am so appreciative of your heartfelt care of your patients!💗

Linda S

Here in NV they’ve been ordered to force taper everyone off opiods by years end. You can’t even get a pain pill post op from major surgery in 1 known hospital in vegas. Pharmacies like walgreens refuse to fill scripts or like CVS give only a couple days supply even with a legit script. Myself since March been forced tapered from 90mg day morphine to 15mg day & my dilaudid as a breakthrough reliever down from 4mg to 2mg & allowed 2 pills a day. Have to pee in a cup to get a script & now PM Dr insists I have major spine surgery over opiods? Why? That’s why I’m in such pain now. QOL gone was walking now use a walker next will be bedridden or dead. If things don’t change soon I’m plan on ending my suffering g by my next birthday. March is right around the corner, so somethings got to give.


I am a disabled former Director of Engineering and I am now a victim of chronic, intractable severe pain. The CDC 90 MME “Guideline” is being misinterpreted because it specifically states it does NOT apply to palliative care patients, defined simply as those with severe chronic health conditions, essentially exempting anyone with chronic pain related conditions like mine. (see Exhibit 1). Further, the CDC “Guideline” scope states that it “is intended for primary care clinicians (e.g., family physicians and internists) who are treating patients with chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting >3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) in outpatient settings. “ Yet, apparently Oregon is preparing to force all Medicaid patients to have no opioid pain medicine period, if you proceed as implied by your proposed new rules to brutal forced tapering be damned of the patient’s condition or the patient’s physician’s best judgement. When did government decide it has better insight than the trained and board certified physicians of our nation? You are preparing to inflict cruel torture banned by the Geneva Convention of the United Nations for enemy combatants, as well as violate standards of medical care that have been in place for decades, all because of a fabricated opiate “crisis” that is proven to not correlate to prescription opioids but is in fact due primarily to heroin and carfentanyl. Are our citizens of less value than enemy combatants?
Do your job and get rid of the illegal street drugs, and stop taking politically expedient way out and robbing the most unfortunate members of society who are victims of genetic disease, nursing home residents, the disabled, the elderly, our veterans, and any number of protected classes of citizens. Our own government is apparently attempting to exterminate Medicaid patients who depend on opioids as a last line of resort to manage otherwise unmanageable serious health conditions. Forced tapering of pain patients is tantamount to genocide on a scale unprecedented since Nazi Germany and the Holocaust of the Jewish people, indirectly by literally torturing people until they commit suicide. Not only is this cruel and inhumane, but it is likely illegal and certainly immoral. You should be ashamed of even thinking of such. If this passes, we will challenge this all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and you will all be held accountable for the cruelty you inflict until you are found guilty of torture….


Message I sent .along with Diseases that cause pain I also have a hard time putting things in words so if you all can understand the email then they can also.That is all I hope for .
I am a disabled American Citizen. My issues started when I was 15 ,32 years ago.I have been DX’d with several painful diseases MultipleSclerosis,Scoliosis,Fibromyalgia,Degenerative Disc Disease,Spondylitis,Nerve impingement with radiculopathy .I also have migraines.Level 3 neck fusion with long term complications.
I have tried 50 different medications that have caused severe side effects sent me to ER,and have caused allergic reactions.I have done P.T many years of it .,Accupuncture caused allergic reaction.TENS machine,hot & cold packs. Swimming pool exercise.
I was on a forced taper of my long term short acting opioids I gained 80 pounds from being completely inactive.Movement caused pain so I refused to move.
I was put on a extended release opioid and Instant release opioid my meds were increased due to fact Pain impacted my life so severely I was not able to function. If my opioid treatment gets taken away from me again I will not have any quality of life and the 80lbs I have lost since my dose was increased will come back on my body and I will be back to chair bound /home bound.I will also have to apply for home care help.With Opioid treatment I can take care of my young child,Teenager,Husband and myself.Without Pain management opioid care from my doctor my home looked like a episode of Hoarders a tv show.


Att. VbBs My heart and prayers go out to my fellow pain paitients in Oregon I’m pretty sure that the legislators who are playing medicine without a licence think they know what it is to be us obviously they are not disabled or in constant pain or anyone they care about is either the war is on the war without us having a fighting chance too survive at the present pace I am in a state were the laws are strict also and agree that the people of Oregon are the test subjects of what is to come for all disabled and pain paitients in every state I know it has already made my life awful and without a medication that is not truly an opiated I can not eat properly and swallow food well when the war began aginst us opiats were taken away then two other drugs that aren’t opiats were limited because the Heroine and fentany users started abusing them I lost 15 pounds and became very sick I only weighed 100 pounds to begin with figure it out I ran to another state we’re I had a second home all the time trying to find help in the state that denied me care on the two drugs that weren’t even opiats I would be dead if I had not done this this pattern will continue because it is not yours or my fault the illegal addicts will always find something to get their fix the next thing you know they will snort gas and paint and it will be no more driving cars or painting your house I want you all too know you are perfect that it’s nothing wrong with you mentally you have a right too be mad worried scared and disturbed I know if this continues I won’t be here very long myself I will starve to death and the abusers will survive and do more drugs then ever for it is not you or I truly the cause of this all on my good days when I can still think straight I wonder which group of people will be blamed next when What is happening to us proves leathel and we are not here to blame truthfully Everyone is responsible for their own choices maybe it will finally be the addicts fault like it should have been in the first place just because your disabled or in chronic pain or both you are still all beautiful you are not crazy and don’t deserve what is happening too you remember too try too stay strong as you can and do your best even though I know you are suffering and it’s probably one of the hardest things you’ve ever faced in your life the slow killing is cruel and tortured God bless you all !


It’s all part of the UN depopulation Agenda 21 mandate. California, Oregon and Washington are test cases for the rest of the country. Stack and pack apartments with literally 1,000 people per cluster, excessive taxes on fuel, property, cars (which they want to ELIMINATE), fires to burn rural landowners off their land and regulating and penalizing their home rebuilds so badly that they have to abandon their land and become renters in the cities, where they can introduce bio attacks in dense population clusters. This mandate on pain is simply a way to kill off the sick people first. It’s worked so far - people are denied their meds, are in agony, commit suicide. Easy, right? They want us dead. Period. And it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with money. They can make money any variety of ways, they don’t need to kill people to do it. So, the next person will come on here and scream about pain and suffering, and big pharma and money, and none of it hits the mark. The UN and local and state governments have teamed up to get rid of us. Look up PROJECT 2030, UN AGENDA 21, Southern California Association of Governments - SCAG (unelected group making laws). 5G - the new wireless setup that was used in WW2 as a crowd dispersement weapon that can literally cook you 1000 times faster than a microwave.
Just look all this up. I dare ya. The ignoring of federal pain regulations is lock-step with this terror coming down on us NOW.

Wendie c brock

It was with great sadness that I read the new Oregon guidelines. I was a teacher and child advocate for thirty years before a bout with Epstein Barr/ Cytomeglo Viruses. These left me bedridden, and in intractable pain. Not to mention without an income. I used every penny I had on the various treatments you are suggesting, before finding educated physicians who prescribed medication that enabled me to walk again with some QOL.
If these guidelines pass, you will have countless suicides. We don’t even allow animals to suffer this way. Please have mercy on these patients. Some, I’m sure are in their seventies and eighties. Torture is aganst the Geneva Convention. Don’t ruin what I always thought was a progressive and compassionate state.

Inga Dawson

Here’s what I sent. I have a nasty migraine while I typed it so I hope it’s ok.

I am a 45yo mother, wife, former ICU RN, and an intractable Pain patient due to a genetic disorder known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. It has no cure and is progressive, I also have many painful co-morbidities like a chiari malformation, congenital spinal stenosis, osteo-arthritis, many herniated disc’s and bone spurs throughout my spine and my larger joints. After many failed non-opiate meds/procedures/non-medicinal therapies my dr placed me on prescription narcotics. This afforded me the opportunity to work 8.5 more years as an ICU RN and improved my QOL. They continue to help my daily acute and chronic pain 17 years later.

By forcing your citizens off of a medication that gave/gives them a better QOL, you are signing their death certificate. These pts are going to suffer in pain, be at risk for a MI, Stroke, Suicide, and 1st Time heroin usage. We have scientific data that proves we do not have a prescription opiate crisis, that addiction is very low amongst pts, that heroin and illicit fentanyl analogs are responsible for the overdoses, and that prescription opiates DO help chronic pain.

Please show compassion for your citizens. Do not doom them to a short life of torturous pain. Allow our drs to treat their pts Pain by not tying their hands. You can not prevent an addict from abusing drugs or anything else that may give them the high they are chasing. Both Pain and addiction are two different medical conditions that are both worthy of compassion, empathy, and medical treatment.

Thank you,
Inga Dawson, RN

Sent from my iPhone


I hear a well know Pro quarter back get on TV and talk about how he was taking at least 17 pain pills a day!
Hold up- you’re an abuser! Who is giving you 17 pain pills a day! Whoever is-is a criminal!
Go after these people and those Drs. Leave me and my 4 pills a day alone. 4 pills alow me to get out of bed, go to the bathroom, cook supper on a good day and have a smile for my family!
Don’t put me in the same category as the abuser.
Although, now when I turn in my prescription at the pharmacy, I’m treated like one!
Someone with a voice and some power has GOT to take on our cause. I’m scared. My last trip to the Dr, he automatically cut me to 3 a day with no explanation at all. I can’t get ahead of my pain at all now. I go back in a couple weeks and I’m so scared he will cut it more. What do we do?
And in the meantime, I hear of 2 of my husband’s distant relatives commit suicide because that can’t get what they need.
A 75 yr old lady with fibromyalgia and a 53 yr man who had been in a terrible car crash and broke his back.
God help us!
Is this AMERICA?


I sent my comments to HERC and they replied it was received. Hopefully they read the part regarding my long term NSAID use resulting in renal disease and an esophageal ulcer. How could they recommend that as an alternative?? Pain acceptance?? Are they joking with us??
My pain mgt. Dr. is a good guy but he told me this week not to expect availability of opiods after 2020. Kasich in Ohio is trying to implement plans similar to Oregon if this goes through.

Katrina Bergman

To thepeople that are in need what you are doing is inhuman & will go to the black market or die because you can only handle so much pain!don’t be ignorant

Kathy S

This is just a disgrace!!!! Individuals that have legit Chronic Pain & have tried every Remedy in the Book!!! I myself live with Chronic Pain on a day to day, Minute to minute, second to second basis!!! I have a fulltime Job that requires alot of Walking & Exercise . I do also take Pain Meds that My Pain Mgmt Physician prescribes me every Month, I do not abuse it., With the Pain Meds I am able to Work & Function on a Day to Day basis.I have NO RESPECT for the Government regarding this matter!!! This is utterly a disgrace on there part!!! Every one of you that has Chronic Pain!! You are in my Prayers!! We all need to get together and FIGHT!!!

Here’s what I wrote to HERC:

I urge and implore you to immediately spike your cruel, misguided, and medically atrocious plan to strip chronic pain patients of opioid pain medicines, which in so many cases are required for the most basic and functional quality of life.

We understand that your intention is to reduce addiction, but this strategy is wrong, wrong, wrong. All you can accomplish with blanket restrictions that ignore individual diagnoses and the wisdom of our doctors is suffering you cannot imagine, amounting to government-mandated torture. Effective murder, when the many suicides you would cause with this draconian action are factored in.

I am a 60-year-old man, disabled for the past several years with chronic pain owing to arthritis in my spine and extremities, degenerative disc disease, stenosis, and sciatica. To strike analogies, this is like an invisible someone grips my spinal nerve with a pair of pliers. This someone is prone to hand tremors and, if I happen to move the wrong way or get bumped (or for no apparent reason at all) gives that nerve a hearty yank. It’s like several small knives stuck in my hip, rump, and legs. It’s like hot tendrils of pain slinking and squeezing around my torso; like angry wasps stinging my hands, feet, and legs from the inside. This goes on day after day, night after night, month after month, year after year. Severity varies, naturally. But it never stops. Chronic pain never takes a day or night off.

I have run a treatment gamut of physical therapy, chiropractors, acupuncture, massage, an electro-stimulation trial, yoga, herbal supplements, multiple rounds of spinal injections, and yes, cannabis as well. A few months ago I collapsed, was hospitalized, and nearly died of a severe bleeding ulcer, caused by cumulative use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. For the rest of my life, those OTC medicines will be a non-option, even for a simple headache. They are the worst when pain is chronic, and your listing of NSAIDs as an alternative is one huge indicator of the unscientific ignorance inherent in your misbegotten prohibition plan….

(My statement goes on quite a bit from here. But apparently it exceeds word limit for this comment format.)


I agree, ive lost friends to heart attacks in oregon for being cut from prescriptions by the DOJ


This is not a new thing, at least in Oklahoma, the pain clinics have already started doing that, so it’s already here, if you were lucky , they weaned you down, some were just cut off upruptly, as per Pain doctor “ government wants everyone off opioids by December of this year”. The VA clinics, pain management, and family doctors have already started taking away narcotics, some are being thrown in the suboxone/buphrenorphine bus, which is good for pharma cause most insurance companies won’t pay unless you are classified as an addict, and that goes on your pain management record. So no surprise here, the state of Oklahoma has been one of the ones to hit pain patients hard on this, already been hearing it from others in several states across the country, so it’s coming. I wonder what will be the effects on big pharma, not everyone wants to be thrown on the suboxone/buphrenorphine bus.

Debra Siegel

Oh my dear God they want us who are locked into chronic debilitating diseases to commit suicide. They are taking away our only way to try to function and care for ourselves. I have severe fibromyalgia and lupus and degenerative disc disease. I worked 27 years in the corporate world. Paid a lot in government taxes for social programs which I believed in and supported before I became sick. Shame on the depravity of the republicans who are ate up with greed, power and corruption. The Paul Ryans of the US think the poor, sick, elderly and disabled are a drain on society. God is very close to the suffering. My prayer is that truth be known and that God teaches these depraved and selfish souls a lesson in severe constant long standing pain so they may develop a heart and compassion. God hears the prayers of His suffering people. I will pray uncessingly for this as only God can save our country from the evil and perversity that runs rampant from the president his family and new republican party. It is not ok to lie, hate or inflict harm on the weak and vulnerable. Shame…it is not American to do heinous acts to immigrant children…but us sick and in constant pain will be the next in the tents vacated by the immigrant children. We have no hope. Do these idiots not realize for years we tried all their “other options instead of pain medications”. God will avenge those who walk on the backs of the hopeless for money and power. May God help us.


I wonder how many pharmacys are goint to get robbed? I’ll give up my pain medication when my congressman gives up his booze or his kid stops texting while driving. G w ez this is going to makw having teeth pulled a lot of fun. [edit] first they let Odumbshir totallt screw up the insurance industry and now this and all of thw other b.s. Civil war in this countey in less than 2 years for certain.


Let’s see 40 people die in the US every year from opioid od how many do they think are going to commit suicide becase they can no longer tolerate the pain? What we have to figure out is the actual impetus behind why this is occurring.Is someone not being payed off? Is there a new drug that will be on the market to replace these medications that will put more money in someones pocket? There is no way wht they are doing can be legal. This is caising needless pain and suffering and that isn’t even touching on terminally ill patients. I smell a major clasa action suit in the air.


A plot to kill off the aging Baby Boomers, methinks. Cheaper to let them off themselves from living in constant pain rather than provide them with opioids. I swear, the state politicians these days must require an IQ of no more than 103 in order to serve. If they were to take a closer look at deaths due to opioids, they’d see that these deaths are not from chronic pain patients, but primarily from heroin, fentanyl laced street “prescription” drugs, and people who illegally attain opioids and misuse them. Why punish individuals with legitimate reasons to be on opioids, who do not abuse or misuse them, when they are not the problem? If a trend began of people dying from misusing Viagra, do you think they would even consider a push to stop prescribing Viagra? Of course not. This is ludicrous. We have and have had people who die from alcohol abuse for ages, albeit liver damage, alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, etc, yet there’s no push for banning it. Why this sudden demonizing of opioids, when in reality, opioids are not the culprit, addiction is. Rather than stripped people of their quality of life, why not address the real issue of addiction and get people who abuse opioids the help they need? This decisions to get everyone off opioids will only lead to more deaths, as people living in constant pain will either search out alternatives and end up overdosing on heroine or femtanyl laced street drugs, or decide to permanently ending their pain by suicide. This decision is moronic and heartless. I hope the folks of Oregon pay greater attention to the politicians they elect, because these are the morons determining your fate. Good luck.


A conundrum: opioid abuser overdose or chronic pain sufferer suicide? Which is more tragic? Narcan administration(s) for an overdose or funeral arrangements for someone who just couldn’t bear chronic pain anymore? ALOT of money is being spent on narcan to revive overdose victims. ‘victims’ what a joke. In my opinion ALOT of money should be spent helping families of suicide victims (aka collateral damage)pay for funeral expenses, etc. Fair is fair, right?

Sandra Mastel

I have been taken off my pain medication for serveral chronic pain disabilities and my quality of life has gone down hill. This is Thanks to the government. The government has grouped illegal drugs with legal ones. So now when someone overdosed on heroine (which is an opiate) then it looks like legal pain meds are the problem. I’ve always taken my pain meds as prescribed for over 15 years. No one can tell me that all these new ways that Drs say are going to help just aren’t. I’ve already tried them before and after pain meds. I know the difference. I looked at pain meds the same way I looked at my high blood pressure pills. They had a medical job to do and I depended on them to do it! I hope this Witch Hunt will come to an end for us chronic pain sufferers.

Sondra Glenn

This is the most bizarre thing I’ve heard of and I’ve heard a lot of crazy stuff regarding this so called opioid crisis. What these doctors in this state are doing HAS to be illegal. Jerk your pain patients off their meds so you can benefit financially! What kind of person does that to another human. I have never been to this state and never will after finding what the mentality of the medical profession and the judicial profession is like. I wish I had tons of money so that I could remove every citizen from that state to another state. Then those greedy doctors would have no patients to use as a pawn in this game they are playing! This is way beyond disgusting! It’s horrifying! And to think “Our Government” allows this to happen! All because of money and the greed about it! Personally I don’t think our government gives a crap about us. They are so wrapped up in this opioid war that they have no respect for human lives. Because of that mentality they will allow any measure to be taken, just to be able to say they got a person to stop taking a medicine that gives them pain relief and enables them to have a life! There are animals on this earth that have more compassion for each other than a lot of humans caught up in this war. Plus these animals have more sense…brain sense, ability to reason! I pray God intervenes in some way to stop this ridiculous behavior by all these so called professionals. My heart goes out to ALL the chronic pain sufferers in the state of Oregon! God Bless

Somewhere along these lines we the sufferers of chronic pain can no longer be treated by the doctors who prescribe the opioid drugs, manufacturers who produce the product, up because of the do gooders legislator’s attempt to fix something that they themselves don’t have a clue what we go through on a daily basis. Sometimes I don’t think that they are trying to fix the problem but they are trying to outdo the previous law enforcement agencies attempt at controlling the problem. How stripping the last means of a person ability to lead a normal life. I’ve been taking these drugs since November 2008,not 1 time winding up in a drug raid because I am selling them,found passed out at a stop light or in a parking lot. I take them because my body healed after a routine surgical procedure that left me disabled in constant pain for the rest of my life.2 things will happen either they will become the the users of illegal drugs or taking the ultimate pain relieving step of suicide. Instead of the lawmakers who are there to represent us are under the guise of protecting us they are killing us. Think about that!?


These doctors are morons. If you have never been a pain paitient you have no idea what it is like. These doctors are going to end up killing people period!!!!!

This is a great article. Thank you Ed for covering the atrocity that is the Oregon Health Plan. Excellent quotes from Dr. Schatman, Dr. Twillman, and Dr. Liptan. Oregon, listen to these experts!

Dr. Dried

Government has ZERO business interfering with the medical care decisions chosen by a doctor and patient. Similar instances of stupidity are happening across the nation. All that will happen is more illicit drug use. People are already committing suicide as the pain is just too much. Doctors are using recommendations as the gospel, falsely implying to patients about laws that don’t yet exist. Billions of dollars a month of illegal drugs have been flowing into America for years and years. The government can’t stop it, they don’t know how. It’s like scooping sand off the beach. Now law-abiding people previously described as ‘’medical patients,’’ will be forced to join the party or make their untimely exit from this ridiculous stage called life. The fallback of this will be enormous. You can take that to the bank.

Martha Peters

In the heartless world of big business, profits are god. Within the dogma of their own rules, their weakest demographic are society’s marginalized men, women and children with the least means available to stop pure greed hidden within the name of progress. Their creed defines the weakest and vilest humans to be those in chronic pain. Will removing the weakest link increase profits, unburden a culture obsessed with youth and vigor or will it create a perfect race? Take your pick.
Those fighting their own pain-racked bodies are also seen to be the most expendable.
Why else would the first big push for extermination begin in the only state to allow assisted suicide? It is not a coincidence.
Those chronically pained people living a semblance of “quality of life” thanks to using an opioid within their private doctor’s watchful eyes, are the lab rats for the nation. You want a double blind study? Well, here it is: will unproven methods of treatment drive desperate chronic pain sufferers to use illegal heroin as a last ditch effort to live a life near to what they had before, with the possible side effect of death or prison or will the curmudgan give up and commit state assisted suicide to be released from their life of senseless torture?
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week: burdened with stabbing, burning, crippling pain, patients looking to find relief and have a shadow of their previously healthy body’s abilities, ask a doctor for a diagnosis and a correct treatment. One diagnosis is fibromyalgia, another is spinal degeneration, another is a disease we could be most unaware of at this moment but if the correct treatment contains an opioid, their qualified doctor should make that decision.
Not the god of profits, not the unqualified administrator of health insurance, not the Center for Disease Control who lump all the number of deaths from illegal drug use together with any death containing a trace of an opioid regardless of the cause of death and pass these false numbers off as “opioids are killing ALL these people!” headlines, but qualified doctors. Doctors who are personally caring healers caught in a looming tidal wave of bureaucracy DESIGNED TO EXPUNGE THE WEAKEST LINK ON THEIR SPREADSHEET, will be unable to fulfill their oath of “first, do no harm” if this law passes.
REFUSE to allow heartless greed rule the land. REFUSE the lab rat experiments on your people. REFUSE this law.

Mareaeric Campagna

What are these catch phrases they are now coming up with like “midfulness” and “pain accetance?” No medicines for our constant, daily pain, just a phrase or a mental picture. This is absurd! The pendulum is going way too far the other direcion. These lawmakers are obviously unfamiliar with pain themselves.
A relative of mine recently dislocated and broke her ankle in 3 places requiring a lengthy surgery, plates and screws. They instructed her to take TYLENOL and sent her home! Hello? What is next, surgery without anesthesia? Give me a break!


What happens when those things don’t help certain patients. These guys are making those who take their medications like they are ordered suffer for the few who abuse it. Those patients that abuse it will eventually be caught, look at the overdoses and see if those people were actually given the medication or did they get it off the street? I work in a pain clinic and we see patients on a daily basis who NEED these medications to get through the day, we have also had some dismissed for different reasons. The quality of life for some of these people is going to be affected.

Michael Swift

As a disabled Oregonian, Opoids have given me a quality of life that resurrected me from total incapacitation to ambulatory status. There are thousands of Oregonians with similar profiles like myself, suffering persecution and increased pain because The Oregon Health Commision and other state agencies have consulted “Addiction Specialists”, Surgeons and Alternative medicine practicioners instead of Pain Management Specialists who understand the suffering- none of which has been mentioned nor answered by my countless inquiries to these board members who are violating our sacred constitutional rights by enforcing their new and discriminating “Change the tide” oath- tossing every opoid user into the new wave classification of drug addicts. Not only Is this thought process biased, selective and discriminating, it is not supported by empirically scientific evidence through thoughtful and accurate research. Every practicing physician familiar with safe and irresponsible opoid use, will have to wholeheartedly admit that physical dependence and withdrawl from use of opoids does not necessarily constitute addiction. So, which is the better alternative- permit patients suffering from Chronic Pain to continue safe, managed opoid treatment resulting in a quality of life free from unbearable suffering, or strip them of the only dignity they have left and reduce them to suffering and bankruptcy because alternative treatment do not work for them, nor will their insurance cover it’s therapies? It is heinous insanity to see these very people who our state tax dollars subsidize, vomiting their vile and torturous alternatives upon a populace of all ages, especially we seniors who built this Empire State for their prosperous, abundant quality of life and for their children as well. If this Societal Carnage is allowed to take effect August 9th, then I must conclude that this is the new Oregon Paradigm: Kick the suffering when they fall in the streets.

Michael Swift

I tried the Herc email address you posted and it will not send, it kicks back telling me the format is incomplete and not functional. I wrote a 600 + well thought reply to herc. but am unable to send it . I am a desperate Oregonian. ANYONE>> can u help or offer suggestions to why this address is not applicable to send?

I take my meds as directed. I have a life i can function clean my house go to church I can do alot.leave my apt. Go church without. My meds I can’t hardly get around. Please don’t change my meds.

Gary Allen

I know I worry every day about not being able to live……not being able to participate in the daily things with my family…..already I cant stay on my feet and even with meds I have to watch what I do because at any given bend or step I may be put down to the ground……but at all costs the pills I take DO NOT MAKE ME HIGH they are taken as directed …..every now and then I can get away without taking one in the day but it usually works out rite back when I have a need for an extra ……so I thank God for my medicine and I hate myself for hurting myself on the job years ago…….thank you but I NEED MY MEDICINE….. not to get high but to live..

Brenda Class

If these idiotic lawmakers, pharmacists and followers who have no idea what living in chronic pain is like, have there way we will see a lower number of opioid use and yes, abuse but a spike in suicides and dual diagnosis Depressions. I am a responsible patient. Middle aged married female with chronic degenerative disc and arthritis. I eventually had to use opioids. In 5 years I have not run out early or substantially increased doses. I engage in daily stretches, pool aerobics, massage and cycling. I actually can now go days with no Percocet. However, I have also relied on them at 6 hour intervals to work, attend church and engage in life. Depression is quick when living in pain. I am a Licensed Clinical Therapist so I have CBT tools too. To remove opioids is cruel, dangerous and unfair. Good people like myself are being clearly punished for the folks who overprescribe, sell or misuse. Go after them not us. My Dr is an amazing, kind and responsible physician. He is prudent and safe and looks after my safety. We must stop the lawmakers from making OUR decisions regarding our healthcare. Where will it stop? It is truely frightening. Please speak up.


In the Canadian province of British Columbia, the College of Physicians and Surgeons threatened physicians with loss of their licenses if they didn’t stop prescribing opiates. Then a series of deaths occurred, some suicide and some accidental deaths from street drugs - people who had been able to hold down jobs lost employment and ended up cocooned at home. Finally in June this year, the College reversed their decision and said that physicians MUST provide prescriptions for legitimate pain patients.

Now, first this begs the question “How could people with PhD’s get it so wrong?” and second, “How will physicians react after having their practices threatened?” The answer to the first question is that the doctors involved have no substantial pain management experience - they cannot even grasp the basic fact that the “opiate crisis” in BC at least, are from fentanyl created in clandestine labs and made for street users, NOT pharmaceutical product administered and distributed through the medical system. The answer to the second question remains to be determined.

And perhaps one might wonder how could this situation be handled better - and the answer is to give the lead to doctors who are Pain Specialists, not special interest groups like physio therapists and chiropractors who have no evidence to support their claims for dealing with “moderate to severe chronic pain”.


The practice of abruptly taking patients off of opioids can be very challenging for those with chronic pain coupled with various mental health diagnoses.
Imagine, if you can, a middle aged veteran who was injured in Desert Storm, is HIV positive and has paranoid schizophrenia. On a good day he may think that aliens or enemies are following him with intent to harm but he responds well to reassurances from caregivers. A doctor, or clinic in Southern Oregon decides to adopt a new policy to eliminate all opioid meds. This long term medication helps to alleviate pain from the patients war injuries but the doctor(s) are convinced that a standard anti inflammatory should be just as effective as the opioid has been. Unfortunately, the veteran begins to experience pain, “FIRE”, and delusions, “You’ve got to stop them!!!”. When reported to the MD the response is, “We are no longer prescribing opioid medication.” The pain and delusions continue. The patient stops eating, frequently screams, ” FIRE!”, pleading, “You’ve got to stop them!!!”. This disrupts the others who live in the same care home. Evetually, the patient is admitted to a psychiatric unit costing thousands of dollars a day. The patient is restrained, drugged, contracts pneumonia and dies, all of which would not likely ever have happened if the 4 daily pills had not been denied by the MD/Clinic.
This is 1 situation where eliminating the opioid was a poor choice.This man would still be living quietly in his care home if his medical support had been more sympathetic to his unique circumstances.There are many others with unique circumstances.
It is not wise to paint every patient with the same brush.if this policy continues there will be fewer patients alive and therefore fewer using opioid pain meds. I guess that’s one way to reduce the use of opioid pain meds???