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WASHINGTON — In the final hours of public input on a controversial new rule limiting opioid prescriptions, a last-minute coalition emerged on Monday to oppose it.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule would restrict opioid doses to Medicare patients to the equivalent of 90 milligrams of morphine per day.


But a vocal group of doctors, pain patients, and public health experts — including three who contributed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own prescribing guidelines — emerged near the Monday deadline to voice their opposition via comment, letter, and social media.

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  • The pain free younger me would have fought this madness…now, my quality of life is low enough, even with pain medication, it’s just not worth it. My first thought was the increase in suicides from this.
    Yeah, I had my job taken away (friends went wit it), my income cut in half, constant pain that keeps me awake, stressed me out, depresses me. I HATE asking for help & try to do everything myself..I’ve learned to lower my standards instead. For 12 years, my pain continues to prevent me from traveling, going to concerts, to dinner, the movies, or doing crafts, gardening, or celebrating holidays. The real downer is the extra pain from simply going for a few groceries, to the doctor, OR cleaning for 1/2 day. It costs me 3 days in that means I have 10 days a month-make that 10 HALF DAYS per month (because I can’t get through anything for a whole day) to take care of a whole month’s worth of cleaning, cooking, showering, paperwork, bills, appointments, shopping, yard work, home/car maintenance (I have a 3br, 2ba w/ yards), no sig other to help, no living family, I have judgemental neighbors, my now doc treats me like a drug addict..even after being physically disabled for 18 years. During this time, my medications have allowed me to take care of most things & helped keep me out of the ER every time I clean my house or shop…I guess Medicare will be REALLY forking over cash for ER visits now- creating a healthcare crisis for everyone else bleeding or flat lining while docs administer short term pain relief…..what a waste. Who would want to be a doctor then?…another consequence of this lunacy. My long time pain doctor(16 years) QUIT being a doctor because of this. He was the best doc I’ve ever had!..not only did he know my name, but he remembered my medical history without looking at the chart- HE CARED!! My GP for 20 years, quit private practice & went to Kaiser..This is just the beginning of the collapse of private medicine…now, THAT is not worth living for!

    • I understand what you are going through. One very short day of running needed errands or going to a doctor’s appointment and it is two or three days of misery barely able to get out of bed. I gave up trying to clean my place myself a while ago and now have a housekeeper come in once every other week to do the major cleaning. I am lucky in that I found someone who does a great job and does not cost a fortune. Every spring I have her husband come over to clean out the winter weeds in my back yard and get it ready for me to do a little planting since I can not handle the bending to do the big jobs. I used to be very active and loved being outside, particularly out on the water sailing. I have not been able to set foot on a boat for years because a combination of the nerve damage and the pain makes me far from stable on my feet on a moving deck. Add to all that these new guidelines that make controlling the pain next to impossible and it will not be long before I need to start having my groceries delivered instead of doing my own shopping.

  • where does Palliative Patients fit in all this, their on terminal status with 8 years or less to live (give or take a couple of years) on this planet. Palliative Care is suppose to make their last years as pain free as possible, these patients signed, that it is ok, if their prescribed medicine that might hasten their death date. The President didn’t review crap, his DEA army are a bunch of satists, performing corner , bust , trial and incarcerate, they don’t give a crap about the ramifications around the case, its just pill count and then bust. what their doing to this echelon of patients, is pure evil. The President just sunk his campaign for president in 2020, because the horror stories of suicide, anguish of pain , for organ damage to spinal damage. Thanks to President Trump , I live in a Shyt hole county living in a shyt hole state which shyts on Federal law, with zero balls from D.C. to put boots on the ground and retake a secessionist state. We played this vial game during the year of 1861 to 65, and we lost a generation of young men, what for nothing?

    • hit one key accidentally, and the entry stops. Well to continue, Opioid epidermic did not start in 2014, it started in the 1830’s pre Mex-AM war and has been with us ever since. And Adults and Kids have been abusing the drug ever since. And suddenly America starts giving a shyt in 2014 just coming down harder in 2019 conveniently used as a Republic trophy at Pres. Trumps “State of the Union Address “, this is no public concern for safety, its all part of “ANOTHER” BS Presidential Campaign which is going to back fire on him in a huge way. Trump saw an easy trophy to grab, a evil law enforcement to deploy.

  • I have neuropathic pain from AIDs and Diabetes. It is hideous –
    A “pain specialist MD” told me once that “Opiates don’t work on nerve pain” …
    I had to teach him. I told him “opiates are the ONLY thing that stops my pain”
    That is when I stood up and left his office for good. He does not know what he is talking about!

    • I also have neuropathic pain and the only thing that does work is opiates. One thing to be aware of is that the doctor may try and give you psychiatric drugs to treat the nerve pain. There are three types of medications they may try and give you, SNRIs, Tricyclics, and SSRIs. Two of the more common ones are neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica (pregabalin). A few others they may try are Topamax (topiramate) and Cymbalta (duloxetine). Be aware that these can have some very serious side effect that can cause personality changes.

      I had a doctor try me on neurontin back when I was still able to work, before my last two surgeries, and I almost got fired before I made him take me off it because it made me extremely irritable and intolerant. On top of that, it did little if anything to help with the pain. I know that Lyrica has helped a few people I know, but it is very hit and miss and did little for me. The side effects were not as bad and the only problem I had was that it makes you retain fluids so you gain weight. A doctor tried to give me Topamax but after I looked at the side effects I said no thanks.

      While some of these medications may provide some relief for some people, they can come with a host of undesirable side effects, so beware.

  • The actual numbers are that it is less than 5% of opioid overdose deaths are patients with legitimate prescriptions. The other 95%+ is people who obtained the drugs illegally on the street.

  • Enough government oversight! Where are the true statistics which blame this crisis NOT on chronic pain pateint’s prescriptions but on illegal fentanyl and heroin being brought in here by the container and truck loads. Chronic pain patients need to understand it is their inalienable right to choose how they want to control their pain! This needs to be said again and again!

  • After 25 years of pain and a total of 25 surgeries my body had enough. Over those years, I lead a fast paced life, successful in both business and social circles. Avoiding any opiates immediately after surgery, I stayed the course on the 16 ipbropen plus NSAIDs recommend by my doctors. My 24 surgery was to repair the damaged esophagus, several Hospital stays and years of Remicade transfusions lessened the IBS.
    A slip tore and damaged my left shoulder, trapoziod and ribs. My body had enough and I turned to opiates in an effort to continue working. Nothing could stop the frayed nerves cut so many times, nor the muscles that refused to heal.
    After 6 months under psychological care, depression was ruled out, and testing showed a non-addictive personality, I chose opiate therapy.
    Work was not an option, I worked with a pain therapist and pain Clinic. I was able to regain 40% of my previous activities.
    When the new laws came into effecct my pain Clinic discontinued its Med Management Program. Scrambling, I found a new clinic, but my medication was changed and I fell victim to the new “guidelines.”
    They count my pills, test my urine and tell me the CDC guidelines… well a carefully selected text of the CDC guidelines.
    I’ve read all of them… I’ve read the CDC retractions. I have plenty of time to read… I’m almost a prisoner to my home, and bed. I may soon move to a state with medical marijuana… not a desired option, but I’m not a quitter…
    I’ve done everything by the rules, Every avenue taken.
    I’ll ask my congressman for my next prescription…

  • This restriction is a REALLY STUPID IDEA! Medically certified doctors can and do prescribe the type, quantity and strength of opiods to their patients.


  • I am having my doctor wean me off my hydrocodone and gabapentin and intend to tell him that I will not be forced to hurt because the government wants me to. I know where the liquor stores are. Will run B.P. up and not good for Diabetes but that’s a chance I’m willing to take. I DON’T HAVE TO HURT!!

    • Kathy,
      Please keep working on medical care for your pain. Alcohol obliterates you, not the pain.
      For me, thinking is precious, and judicious use of opioids is far better than booze. I have fibromyalgia whose kaleidoscope symptoms include pain and mental fog – which is a real b…. tough to manage. But everything works better with a brain!
      How we suffer!
      Take care, Tom

    • Seriously I jured and chronic pain sufferers are victims of a rule that needs to be changed. These law makers most likely have been lucky enough to not be chronic pain sufferers. I had to leave my job due to pain even while on opiates. However, now I sit in same chair day after day, useless
      I was active my whole life until 2 different forms of arthritis have taken over my life. No relief from all the available injectables. I can get five hours of minimal relief to get to store for necessities. Now I get home delivery. Desperately disgusted

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