PALO ALTO, Calif. — For Thomas P. Yacoe, the word is “terrifying.”

Leah Hemberry describes it as “constant fear.”

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • I have multiple chronic conditions and live in extreme pain 90℅ of the time. Opiates have horrible rebound pain
    I can’t even get a Tylenol 4 from a ruhmatologist. I must add another doctor to the list for a drug that can be called in to pharmacy. Pain management in my hometown in KY, is full of addict’s or Suboxone patients. Afraid to go because a poor old guy was followed and stabbed for a bottle of Lortabs. It’s horrible for people like me.

  • I think it’s terrible that in this time and place anyone should be in Pain!!!! I’ve had 2. Back surgeries, haven’t felt my last4toes on my right foot in 2years have had Cancer. Have a bone growth on my right. Femur. And now I’m. Being told my. Pain. MDS. Will be. Cut. Because of the new. Government. Rules. Who comes up with this. Shit. . Sure. There is. Addiction, I’m not one of. Them. So. I’m. Punished. I could barely walk at times. This is. Nuts. Free. Country. My. Ass

  • I have been on oxycontin and oxycodone for approximately 3-4 years, and that was after I tried morphine, vicodin, anti-depressants and anti-convulsants. Before those I tried creams, rubs, heating pads, voltaren gel. Many many other treatments, (spinal injections). This article hits close to home for me because I live in fear every month of getting cut off. Usually the last 3 days of my prescription I am down to the bottom and rationing, not a full dose to myself for those last 3 days, I am afraid to ask for an increase because I don’t want to raise any red flags. I have contemplated suicide probably 9 out of last 12 months. I could get off the opiods with not too much withdrawal but the pain on a scale of 1-10 would be 11. I have been told it is reticulated neuropathy. My hands (which started a year ago) and my feet feel like they have been dipped in acid. Agonizing pain.!!! It seems like this is worse when I eat food. Any kind of food. I could not make it without some sort of pain relief and right now that is OC and oxycodone. I want to figure this out I am 53 years old, on disability, and have 14 grandchildren whose lives I would like to be involved with as much as possible any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    William Gross
    6082909682

  • I have Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis in my back, hips and both knees, I suffer from migraines and have had 2 back procedures. I’m not trying to get high, I’m just trying to get some type of relief. I’m so tired of doctors playing God. There are people out there like me who actually needs pain meds. Doctors are not in our body and can only assume. Walk a week in my (our) shoes then come back and tell me how you feel. To be in pain is miserable and depressing. All day everyday in pain is not fun. And the bull crap meds like naproxen, ibuprofen and Tylenol does nothing. That’s like eating m&m’s. If we tell you it doesn’t help or work, why would you keep prescribing it. It makes no sense.

  • If they dont leave the pain meds alone, more peole are going to the street and the suicide rate will sky rocket. Its always about someone who want notoriarty from writing a book and think they know everything. On CBS this morning Gale and her cohost made the comment that people turn to pills to easily instead of excercising. Well uf i wasnt for my pai meds icoyldnt excercise. So quick to speak about something they know nothing about.

  • I was injured on my job in 2009, had 2 shoulder surgeries which did not decrease my pain. I have nerve damage pain along with chronic pain in which I take an opiate drug. I moved to a different city & now I am having trouble getting the pain medicine or even finding a pain management doctor. Without the opiates, I would suffer from extreme pain, from the nerve damage & the constant pain that I get everytime I barely move my arm. It is not psychological or imagined pain, it is real & I take the pain meds to keep the pain at bay. It is not fair to assume that people who have uncontrollable pain are actually drug addicts. It is not our fault that you will go through withdrawals when you miss one dose or several doses. My Doctors all know that I am not taking drugs to get high, but I take them to help me manage pain which makes my life better. Thank you. I am 58 & I suffer from severe persistent asthma, high blood pressure & diabetes which were all prominent in my life before the life changing work related injury. Please do not take away what gives us the ability to function everyday.
    If you need me in a study group, please contact me & I will gladly do testing so that experts will know that this is necessary to have the high powered medications to be able to function as well as society that is pain- free. Thank you for your time.

  • I have been going to a pain clinic for about 20 yrs. Several yrs ago I had two back surgeries that went horrible wrong. If I had not started going to the pain clinic, I probably would have committed suicide. Maybe some of the book smart people with the alphabet after their name need to experience conic pain for about 6 months with no pain med’s at all. And then see how they do. But, their again I would want that to happen to anyone.

    • It’s just awful to be made to feel like a criminal.of sorts. I am a middle class American. Look normal dress well.had a professional job
      Yet I feel like a criminal every.month.

  • If you refuse pain medications to those that are truly in pain, they will go elsewhere, and I am not talking about another doctor, they will go to the street. People cannot function while in PAIN. Their entire focus when in pain, is THE PAIN. When you remove the pain aspect, you can obtain a functioning person – even if it’s minimal functioning. I know this for a fact because I watched my husband have this GAME with his life played over and over again, to the point, we HAD to get other stuff because everyone, the doctors, the pharmacy, everyone…was so damned worried about themselves….and FORGOT that their commitment and oath was to make the lives of human beings TOLERABLE if nothing else. When you feel REAL pain…YOU to will understand this.. Anyone against prescribing medications for pain, needs to feel REAL pain for at least a month…..then maybe their ideas would change…Or, they will end up addicted to something someone on the street has given them…..and then where will they be? At least if you are prescribing pain medications, you have a grip on how to treat a “problem”….once people start hitting the drugs on the streets, you will be totally lost on how to save them…. THINK that over for a bit. SINCERELY……

    • You have no idea how well you hit the nail on the head. Have husband in methadone clinic because if the very thing you said. Stopped prescription and hit the streets . Now law states can’t get pain meds from doctor if he knows your in methadone clinic. And then they wonder why you lie when you go for appointment. Damn if you do tell everything and double damn if you don’t . The government has no business trying to regulate what doctors do or don’t . Who has the medical diploma?

  • Thank you for this article. I and so many that I talk to, live in pure hell. We lived normal, working lives. Then instantly we were treated a hundred times worse than a bad veterinarian who’s treating a dog. I have come to despise my doctor, the Center he works for, and the pain specialist I was sent to. They don’t care about people who need their pain medication. If they did they would follow their oath FIRST.

    I have been subjected to a pain specialist, “that I was forced to go to”, that made me like I did many years ago when I was raped. I was laughed at, accused before knowing anything about me to get me to confess I suppose to being a drug dealer or something, (asked me “now what else am I going to find in you when I test you!) I ended up with nothing because I’m order to be treated for pain, I had to agree to see their shrink, and have numerous tests done all before hand.

    I couldn’t handle it. Feeling somewhat raped, having the knowledge that I couldn’t afford any of this, on top of my physical agony was too much. I went and saw my regular doctor and told him that I give up living.. because I have. I just can’t fight this fight with this kind of pain. There is no shrink that fix my pain. I can’t have any more surgery.

    I have learned a lot, mostly though that until you live in chronic pain, you don’t know enough about how to treat it!

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy