The incident command system kicked in at Brigham and Women’s Hospital about a week ago. A large team of doctors, pharmacists, and nurses began assembling every morning to confront an emerging crisis with the potential to severely undermine care for patients.

The challenge was different than it was during the Boston Marathon bombing, another event that triggered the command response. This one wasn’t rushing toward caregivers as fast. But it was similarly daunting and logistically demanding: Amid a nationwide crisis caused by too-easy access to medical painkillers, hospitals are now struggling to find enough of that same class of drugs to keep their patients’ pain controlled.

That is the reality now facing Brigham and Women’s and other medical providers across the country. Production of injectable opioids has nearly ground to a halt due to manufacturing problems, creating a shortage of staple medications used to treat a wide array of patients. Alarms are now ringing at all kinds of medical providers, from sprawling academic hospitals to small hospice programs, and many are launching efforts to conserve injectable opioids and institute safeguards to prevent dosing errors that can result from rapid changes in medication regimens.

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“Any shortage of these medicines has the potential to impact the ability to provide adequate pain management to patients admitted with painful conditions or patients undergoing surgeries,” said Dr. Charles Morris, associate chief medical officer at Brigham and Women’s. “We stood up this incident command response to make sure that this impact is not realized.”

These products, packaged in vials, patches, and syringes, are distinct from the prescription pills at the root of the nation’s opioid addiction crisis. They are distributed to hospitals and other medical providers that use them to treat patients undergoing major surgeries or those who are suffering from intense pain related to trauma or cancer.

The severity of the shortage, which has been brewing since last summer, only became clear in recent weeks after Pfizer Inc., the dominant manufacturer of injectable opioids, began notifying customers that it has halted production of some medicines and will not be able to fully restore its capacity until the first quarter of 2019. Some hospice providers in Florida, Maryland, and Hawaii are already reporting they have run out of some opioid products and are struggling to replenish supplies needed to help patients, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Pfizer has attributed the shortage to a problem with a third-party manufacturer that produces the pre-filled syringes that contain various formulations of opioids, including morphine, hydromorphone, and fentanyl.

Scott Knoer, chief of pharmacy at the Cleveland Clinic, said the hospital system is carefully monitoring inventory and using alternative treatments whenever possible. That might include giving patients oral opioid medicines, or using IV Tylenol when their pain can be managed with a less potent drug. But the price of IV Tylenol has also tripled since 2014, to $37 per vial compared to $2 per vial for IV morphine. That carries a significant budget impact, in addition to extra costs for staff members to work overtime to manage the opioid shortage and receive additional training.

“There is a real cost to drug shortages,” Knoer said. “This month it’s opiates. It’s going to be something else next month. This revolving door means something is always going to be short. You’re never over it.”

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Constant vigilance

Pharmacy leaders at Brigham and Women’s hospital expressed a similar weariness, noting that regulators have made limited headway in addressing shortages over the past decade.

In their incident command meetings, they discuss the volume of opioids available on a given day and how it might be impacted by the daily demands of surgery, emergency care, and other treatments.

So far, the shortage is not so severe that the hospital must scale back on services or consider rationing medicines. But its physicians, pharmacists, and administrators are also emphasizing the use of alternative pain medications and strategies to help conserve injectable opioids over the next year. The effort also involves regularly reaching out to wholesalers to make sure the hospital claims whatever additional supply becomes available.

“That is taking quite a bit of our purchasing resources to keep monitoring the situation to buy whatever release of product becomes available,” said Michael Cotugno, director of pharmacy services at Brigham and Women’s. “It’s constant vigilance to get your piece of the pie.”

He noted that the headlines about hospital drug shortages have hardly changed in 10 years. The type of drug subject to shortage might vary but the underlying cycle does not: A sudden blip in the supply chain halts production, and hospitals are left digging for basic medicines that can’t be found.

“The production margins are so thin that we’re vulnerable to a natural disaster, technology [problems], or a man-made disruption,” Cotugno said. “In this case, the production margins were so slim that one company undergoes modernization of their plants, and the whole system is in disarray.”

“There is a real cost to drug shortages. This month it’s opiates. It’s going to be something else next month. This revolving door means something is always going to be short.”

Scott Knoer, Cleveland Clinic chief of pharmacy

Pfizer, which controls about 60 percent of the U.S. market for injectable opioids, said a supplier responsible for making a component of its Carpuject and iSecure pre-filled syringes has experienced a “technical and process issue.”

“We recognize the importance of these medicines to patients and physicians and are committed to resolving these shortages as quickly as possible,” said a company spokesman, Steven Danehy. “To that end, we are exploring the feasibility of increasing capacity within the global Pfizer manufacturing network and potential third party suppliers.”

Strictures of DEA

Although the shortage was not directly caused by the opioid addiction crisis, the response to it is being impaired by some of the legal controls surrounding these drugs. In order to increase the supply of injectable opioids, the Drug Enforcement Administration, which regulates the distribution of controlled substances, must lift quotas on smaller manufacturers to allow them to make more.

But despite requests from these manufacturers and a wide array of hospital and patient groups, the DEA has not yet granted enough extra capacity to resolve the shortage.

“We’ve made multiple inquiries starting in January, and we just sent in more this week,” said Dan Motto, executive vice president for U.S. injectables at West-Ward Pharmaceutical Corp., the second-largest supplier of these opioids. He added that he did not know the reason for the delay, but that the “best solution is for everyone to work together to try to solve this.”

A spokeswoman for the DEA said the agency is working on the problem as quickly as it can.  “We are communicating with those affected and are considering all possible solutions, including the adjustment of production quota,” said the spokeswoman, Katherine Pfaff. “DEA is confident these steps will avoid any shortages.”

Earlier this week, a group of U.S. senators filed legislation that would make it easier for the DEA to adjust its production quotas and respond to emerging problems. Though the bill focuses on helping the DEA to address the oversupply of opioids that contributed to the addiction crisis, it may also enable it to respond more swiftly to shortages.

But even if the legislation passes soon, it is unclear how quickly the DEA will act and whether smaller manufacturers of injectable opioids can ramp up production fast enough to alleviate the shortage.

No back-up plan

The problem is compounded by limited competition and the lack of redundant manufacturing capacity. Some medical organizations have pushed for regulatory or legislative solutions to help provide a more reliable supply of medicines.

“After this last round of shortages, I think it’s become pretty apparent there is still some work that needs to be done,” said Jillanne Schulte, director of regulatory affairs for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The organization has pushed for changes to make reporting of shortages more timely and transparent, and ensure backup manufacturing capabilities are available for certain crucial medicines. “If you don’t have enough manufacturing capacity going, and something goes offline, you may be in a very uncomfortable position very quickly,” Schulte said.

But manufacturers say the issue is difficult to solve from a financial standpoint. Most operate with lean capacity because of tight profit margins on generic medications. Injectable opioids, while used in large volumes, cost only a few dollars a vial, so maintaining extra manufacturing capability doesn’t pencil out.

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Motto said West-Ward will need to add more staff and facility space in order to increase production if the DEA does eventually allow it to produce more injectable opioids.

“It’s not like we have a plant that’s half empty and we can suddenly just use that extra space to make more product,” he said. “There’s a lot of work done to figure out how we fit these opioid products into the production schedule. It’s adding extra shifts and paying overtime and making capital investments.”

In the end, Motto said, no one in health care wins under the current system. “It’s bad for our industry. It’s bad for patients and it’s bad for the hospitals that now have to scramble,” he said. “We have every incentive to try to meet the needs of the customers.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the anticipated full recovery date for Pfizer’s production of its opioid products. The estimated time frame for recovery is the first quarter of 2019.

  • What is the real problem is, is the law enforcement like in the town we live in, the police are told to only write speeding tickets. The whole drug scene is avoided. Toy can sit and watch the deals go down right in front of the law and they do nothing. V
    This is where out all started. It leaves those of us that truely need the pain meds hung out to dry!! I mean like I was hit by a train in 1995 and suffer terrible daily hourly pain and push through allot of the debilitating pain just to get through my daily activities. Taking pain meds from those of us that are truely in need is not what the problem is. SEA YOU ARE MISSING THE REAL PROBLEM. THE OVERDOSES IS NOT THE DOCTORS FAULT, HE CAN ONLY PRESCRIBE, HE CAN’T HOLD YOUR HAND AND SEE TO IT THAT YOU TAKE IT CORRECTLY OR YOU DON’T GIVE IT TO ANOTHER TO SELL IT OR SELL IT THEMSELVES. LAW ENFORCEMENT NEED TO GET IT TOGETHER AND DO THERE JOB!!!

  • This is a real problem for our patients in the hospitals. I work on a Trauma PCU and the shortages of IV pain medicine is not the only problem we are also short on IV fluids. All of this started after the hurricanes hit the US and Puerto Rico. The government needs to do something fast and not drag their feet like usual. They nee to think about what it would be like if they were in the hospital bed suffering from pain that would take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to even get some relief from oral pain medication, where as if you had the IV it only takes a few minutes. The delay in treating pain delays the healing process and can also cause more problems. They need to start thinking about people instead of their trying to keep money in their pockets.

  • Why is it that no one will call these shortages what they are: price manipulation and collusion. We have seen this with lidocaine, IV fluids, antibiotics and now IV narcotics. These off-patent drugs are inexpensive and yet their production is limited to a few companies. Shortages result in higher prices as they push the demand side of supply and demand. Why is this allowed? Is this a DEA problem?

  • When ppl are legitimate issues images MRIs CAT scans etc. that prove a person is suffering and a person has been on pain management just to survive they should not have to pay a price for this nonsense !

    • That’s right!! People like myself that was hit by a train, has 17 lbs of metal in me holding me together, was in a wheelchair from 95-02, ejected 172 feet or of the vehicle and laid in a coma for 8 1/2 weeks with 2% brain activity and, been bucked for more horses than I can count, 13 rounds of cancer and alk the documents to prove it and I get up everyday only because of my pain meds
      !! They even did the DNA swab to be able to truely tell just what pain meds truely work on me. Results, opioid medications was the only result!!! And to prove people truely in pain will never become addicted to pain meds there had been several studies to prove it by Baylor , Hermann, Merick and several universities.. Now what’s three real reason behind this…. We have the right to be pain free!!!The law states this!! Our goes back to, ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT NEED TO GET ON THE BALL FOR THOSE BREAKING THE LAW AND NOT THOSE THAT TRUELY NEED IT!!GOVERNMENT LISTEN TO US THAT ARE IN ACUTE DAILY PAIN!! WALK IN MY SHOES JUST FOR AN HOUR AND LIKE 3 DIFFERENT PSYCHIATRIST SAID, “I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT, MOSSY FOLKS WOULD HAVE GONE CRAZY OR COMMITED SUICIDE… IS THAT NOT ENOUGH PROOF!!! NEVER A MARK AGAINST ME WITH DOCTORS AND STILL, ÞDRA HAS THEM SO AFRAID AND DOCTORS HANDS TIED THAT THEY’RE AFRAID TO GIVE YOU THE needed meds!!

  • Everyone including the dea, cdc, and everyone else who believes we shouldn’t have pain control needs to watch the video. “Life before Death”. It will change their minds. If it doesn’t, they are just evil and need to be replaced.

  • “I told you so”. Yes, I want to say it. I posted on every place I could when the cdc got involved with patient care over their own physician. Don’t do this! If this happens it will cause a shortfall in hospitals, hospice care, rehabilitation centers and then pharmacies.
    The real problem is herione people!! It’s not Oxycodone!
    But since they did not listen, forget going in for surgery unless a real emergency. Because you just maybe being for pain control after surgery and they can’t find any. No way.
    They need to scrap those ridiculous guidelines about pain control and Oxycodone and look into going after the heroine drugs that’s killing addicts. Right now people are killing themselves because they are being taking off their pain management.

    FIX THIS
    Cyn

    • YES! BLACK-TAR HEROIN is THE CULPRIT! In New England, my family moved IN to Falmouth, MA=’01. (Moved OUT=’12). We watched our new town (MOST residents=RETIRED or blue collar, PLUS W.H.Oceanographic/NOAA/MBL/MA Military Res., too) DECAY into drug addiction. ALL you had to do: search FB (by zip code) & SEE discussions from ‘snow-bird’ families (live in FL & MA) & bring PILLS from FL state ‘Dr./dispensaries’ up the E. Coast. Thru NYC along coast>Cape Cod>Boston>Maine. ($80/pill=Oxycontin) from=2005-’07. EVERYTHING that COULD BE stolen in town, was. Stored boats/cars=gas, siphoned. Vacation homes=robbed. EVERYWHERE you park-if you didn’t lock your car it was broken into. People ‘COMBING’ grocery store; Walmart parking lots. A woman killed by nephew to get pills she kept in her BRA. Shootings started happening (on OUR street). 3 while we were there. Our next door neighbors started DEALING. ‘Kids’ (18-30) couldn’t afford to keep $80/4 hour habit. BLACK-TAR HEROIN TOOK THE PLACE of PILLS! My friend’s SON died (as well as MANY others of BLACK-TAR Heroin OD. ‘A bad-batch’ the paper said. By 2010, we had 6 DEALERS on our BLOCK. 3 shootings. 1 killing (And Falmouth is a RESORT COMMUNITY! Ironically, IT’S Kathy Lee Bates (who wrote ‘America the Beautiful’)’s, HOME TOWN!
      NBC NEWS -6 mos. ago, did a story on East Falmouth Elem., where 12 parents of students DIED in 1 weekend. NOT from PILLS, but Black-Tar HEROIN. One of the 6 dealers on our st. ODed=WEEKLY. We heard about Narcan & the BUDGET for it, KEPT our town from hiring MORE POLICE. WE MOVED; we had a child who couldn’t play outside! We moved THERE to give her a quiet, safe childhood. We watched as this GREAT town, WENT from a quiet, safe, beach paradise into a place MORE DANGEROUS than the CITY WE LEFT. When dealers finally got wise to FB’s security, we DIDN’T see pills coming UP from FL (those users were gone, too). But HEROIN, and LOTS, coming FROM NYC.
      BTW-ON TWITTER, WHY is there ONE hashtag for HEROIN? NO ‘#Black-Tar Heroin’; MAYBE because it’s a CROP, largely grown in AFGHANISTAN? I watched a CBS news reporter when the Afghan War began; ‘The military doesn’t have the man-power to stop the Opium Poppy industry, which is a LARGE cash-crop for the Afghanis. On the report I SAW HOW they HARVEST OPIUM. (If you think I’m lying, ask me HOW it’s farmed). They showed LARGE VALLEYS FULL of Opium Poppies. (Beautiful but DEADLY.) The SILENCE about THAT is DEAFENING. Fentanyl (patches) = 1st of all, the Rx ones are stupid. It’s a stupid delivery system to deliver pain medication. (People put it on & pull it off to re-position it & end up in the ER or dead. It must break a membrane within the patch to leak out too much Fentayl. The LEGIT patches Are NOT ‘FOOL proof’. I’ve BEEN ON them & I THINK they’re DUMB. I’m on pain mgmt., now, in a State with a SAFETY SYSTEM in place. THERE ARE 4 LEVELS of CONTROL for ORAL Meds. (I don’t know abt FL).
      But HERE, (& 2 other States we’ve lived): 1)-DOCTOR (MUSY give hand written RX for 1 mont qty.) I have a PAIN MED. CONTRACT=I can be called in ANY time, & be urine/blood tested AND qty=counted. (I HAVE TO bring my meds w/ME to EVERY appt. Regardless the specialist or PCP); 2)-Insurance (reg. by your drivers lic. Insurance WON’T allow release of your Rx until YOUR DUE DATE.; 3)-STATE=Keeps records of your ID/dates/qty.s/insurance.; 4)-Pharmacy-has THEIR protocols = checking legitimacy of the paper Rx, qty.s / due dates. (‘Pain Contracts’ are OK w/me. They SEE if YOU are TAKING your meds (IF you’re NOT & your qty is OFF, YOU WILL BE CUT OFF).
      I BEGAN this ‘journey’ by being prescribed a (Big Pharma) Black-Box drug, who’s side-effects include: DISSOLVED my wrists’ tendons, changed their tendons’ DNA (they will NEVER heal on their own) & FILLED MY BODY w/INFLAMMATION, (brain, incl.). I’ve been on this regimen since injured/poisoned in 2010. Other organs have been torn apart from NSAIDs/other drugs that destroy your digestive tract & OTHER side effects. I’ve NEVER have asked to increase my dosage or increase mg. strength. (I WAS even put on Fentanyl, to bypass taking orally, & wanted OFF (patches=poor delivery system).
      It’s the ONLY WAY I can be a GOOD MOM. Otherwise, my body BURNS- with PAIN. The PAIN IS EXHAUSTING & worsening. BUT I NEED to be able to get up & LEAVE MY HOUSE. BEING PRESENT in my child’s life even IF my hands ‘don’t work’! I guard my meds with my life- I DON’T WANT ANYONE HURT b/c of MY MEDS. But HEROIN? It wasn’t an ISSUE until THE WAR. I was in college before the war. NO ONE ‘did heroin’. It WAS a ’70s thing.
      We GET OUT of Afghanistan, I’d bet my bottom-dollar; bootleg Fentanyl AND the Opium/Heroin problem would DECREASE if NOT, DISAPPEAR.

  • This is ridiculous..When actually the DEA needs to focus on the real problem of the heroin epidemic which is killing off people left and right and the crack crap which is also killing people.These are the people that the DEA and authorities need to focus upon NOT adults and people whom really need it undergoing surgery OR people whom have tests done and show severe problems that even if having surgery will never get better… I’ve had a bad back (failed back surgery ) back in 1997 have sea shells (coral ) graphing that has fallen out and and is in my nerves in my back and my titanium cages having no give (flexibility) have ruined the discs above !! My backs a mess L/4-5 and nerves s-1 nerves above now and discs above all bulging herneated yet I’m on less dosage since 1997 !! Than was at Lowes leaving (had the right away) and some lady hit my new but used vehicle going way way to fast 3 days later my right hand went numb and had kept me awake in severe pain in tears once it spread to left hand with pain and numbess… I tried extremely hard to ignore it but it’s impossible!! I’m dropping things non-stop finding it hard to drive since now my hands are cramping so bad and the tests MRI etc.. show herniated dics which are compressed etc … wouldn’t think being numb could hurt so so bad … surgeon said there’s nothing that’ll help me except medication basically that if I did opt for surgery I’d be in worse condition after surgery and that he wasn’t prescribing ANYTHING FOR PAIN AFTER SURGERY!! At the time i thought had he lost his mind or is he a satanist thinking he’s cutting me open and leaving me to suffer !! So I thought I wonder how these people whom make these dumb decisions for the DR’s would feel about it if something or someone took a board to their backs
    And literally beat them until they had real actual pain or even something severe happened to them !!! Bet their opinion would definitely change if they had non-stop day to day morning to night severe pain as I do ! I’m allergy to anti-inflamatories injections haven’t ever done a d— thing except make me worse !! Especially first 4 days after injections !! Than ignore your lucky really lucky the injections may work a week or two at most!! I tried everything before taking pain meds injections,physical therapy etc… But nothing worked.unfortunately !! But since 1997 guess what has worked for me pain meds otherwise I’d be obese with many many more complications and my 5 boys wouldn’t be where they are today as I wouldn’t have been able to drive and care for them all those years!! So sad if this continues I’ll be bed ridden and the cost for that will be coming from health insurance and the government for all my future ailments!! So the DEA will most likely take a pay cut to pay for all the people like me who will end up with long long term disabilities and I love camping and fishing but won’t be able to even do that!!!!! No wonder a LOT of.Dr’s have retired I would to if I can’t care for my patients as needed !!! I need it to make it through the day or have any quality of life left in my 50’s

  • This is ridiculous..When actually the DEA needs to focus on the real problem of the heroin epidemic which is killing off people left and right and the crack crap which is also killing people.These are the people that the DEA and authorities need to focus upon NOT adults and people whom really need it undergoing surgery OR people whom have tests done and show severe problems that even if having surgery will never get better… I’ve had a bad back (failed back surgery ) back in 1997 have sea shells (coral ) graphing that has fallen out and and is in my nerves in my back and my titanium cages having no give (flexibility) have ruined the discs above !! My backs a mess L/4-5 and nerves s-1 nerves above now and discs above all bulging herneated yet I’m on less dosage since 1997 !! Than was at Lowes leaving (had the right away) and some lady hit my new but used vehicle going way way to fast 3 days later my right hand went numb and had kept me awake in severe pain in tears once it spread to left hand with pain and numbess… I tried extremely hard to ignore it but it’s impossible!! I’m dropping things non-stop finding it hard to drive since now my hands are cramping so bad and the tests MRI etc.. show herniated dics which are compressed etc … wouldn’t think being numb could hurt so so bad … surgeon said there’s nothing that’ll help me except medication basically that if I did opt for surgery I’d be in worse condition after surgery and that he wasn’t prescribing ANYTHING FOR PAIN AFTER SURGERY!! At the time i thought had he lost his mind or is he a satanist thinking he’s cutting me open and leaving me to suffer !! So I thought I wonder how these people whom make these dumb decisions for the DR’s would feel about it if something or someone took a board to their backs
    And literally beat them until they had real actual pain or even something severe happened to them !!! Bet their opinion would definitely change if they had non-stop day to day morning to night severe pain as I do ! I’m allergy to anti-inflamatories injections haven’t ever done a d— thing except make me worse !! Especially first 4 days after injections !! Than ignore your lucky really lucky the injections may work a week or two at most!! I tried everything before taking pain meds injections,physical therapy etc… But nothing worked.unfortunately !! But since 1997 guess what has worked for me pain meds otherwise I’d be obese with many many more complications and my 5 boys wouldn’t be where they are today as I wouldn’t have been able to drive and care for them all those years!! So sad if this continues I’ll be bed ridden and the cost for that will be coming from health insurance and the government for all my future ailments!! So the DEA will most likely take a pay cut to pay for all the people like me who will end up with long long term disabilities and I love camping and fishing but won’t be able to even do that!!!!! No wonder a LOT of.Dr’s have retired I would to if I can’t care for my patients as needed !!! Focus on the Heroin addicts and etc … Leave us alone whom truly need it to make it through the day or have any quality of life left in our 50’s

    • This is horrible why are the wrong people suffering. WHY DOESNT THE MEDIA publish what happens to our soldiers and pain management. With these stupid titles.

  • Our beloved savior that wrote the 90 milligram morphine equivilent chart worked as head of the largest addiction center in the nation. He bypassed real science and used a fake study that took 2 weeks to write his phoney bologna research behind it. Not taking into account all pain is cumulative, people that have multiple issues need more medication. I can give an example, I was on Cancer meds for 4 weeks via coupon years ago with 5 kidney stones, 2 stents and had to go to work along with my regular pain medication for Fibromyalgia, spinal arthritis and so on. Without Flexibility this would not have happened. So now we all barely eek by with enough medication for a bad headache until someone has enough nerve to take on the worthless Government on our behalf. Dogs are treated better in fact addicts at a pain treatment center can now get more pain medication than we can with ttcttcttc, Suboxone and Buprenorphine. But those paths are closed to us even with Kolody’s equivilent to 90 milligrams of Morphine chart. So I can guarantee no one can tell how many people in the last year have committed suicides with what is left of their medications nor does it seems like anyone cares. Caring only for the addicts has caused this over zealous reach by Conservatives who’s only love is a big pile of money. People in pain are beneath them. I have more on how this seems to all be about money. How long will this go on? Sending us all to the Soylent Green Factory?

    • Agree with you totally!! All about the mighty dollar!! See where they are when were all bed ridden and it’s coming out of their pay checks in taxes etc … I hope so than at least they may feel some kind of pain as we do !!!

    • Legalize medical marijuana. That’s better than any man made pill. Also CBD Oil is a GOD send, as long as you get the right one. There are other alternatives, but Pfizer and other drug companies don’t want us to know about. Look at all the money they’d be missing.

  • This is ridiculous..When actually the DEA needs to focus on the real problem of the heroin epidemic which is killing off people left and right and the crack crap which is also killing people.These are the people that the DEA and authorities need to focus upon NOT adults and people whom really need it undergoing surgery OR people whom have tests done and show severe problems that even if having surgery will never get better… I’ve had a bad back (failed back surgery ) back in 1997 have sea shells (coral ) graphing that has fallen out and and is in my nerves in my back and my titanium cages having no give (flexibility) have ruined the discs above !! My backs a mess L/4-5 and nerves s-1 nerves above now and discs above all bulging herneated yet I’m on less dosage since 1997 !! Than was at Lowes leaving (had the right away) and some lady hit my new but used vehicle going way way to fast 3 days later my right hand went numb and had kept me awake in severe pain in tears once it spread to left hand with pain and numbess… I tried extremely hard to ignore it but it’s impossible!! I’m dropping things non-stop finding it hard to drive since now my hands are cramping so bad and the tests MRI etc.. show herniated dics which are compressed etc … wouldn’t think being numb could hurt so so bad … surgeon said there’s nothing that’ll help me except medication basically that if I did opt for surgery I’d be in worse condition after surgery and that he wasn’t prescribing ANYTHING FOR PAIN AFTER SURGERY!! At the time i thought had he lost his mind or is he a satanist thinking he’s cutting me open and leaving me to suffer !! So I thought I wonder how these people whom make these dumb decisions for the DR’s would feel about it if something or someone took a board to their backs
    And literally beat them until they had real actual pain or even something severe happened to them !!! Bet their opinion would definitely change if they had non-stop day to day morning to night severe pain as I do ! I’m allergy to anti-inflamatories injections haven’t ever done a d— thing except make me worse !! Especially first 4 days after injections !! Than ignore your lucky really lucky the injections may work a week or two at most!! I tried everything before taking pain meds injections,physical therapy etc… But nothing worked.unfortunately !! But since 1997 guess what has worked for me pain meds otherwise I’d be obese with many many more

    • This is an example of complete ignorance i agree totally with all the comments. if they won’t to see the heroin use rise and moor overdoses rise this is exactly how todo it. don’t stop guessing and wasting money this really pisses me off what the hill do punishing the people that need the drugs have to do with it morons sorry for the bad language I’ve been clean 33years listening to this. Get 20 clean addicts together and actually listen you might learn something if you can get humble .

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