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WASHINGTON — In his first year leading the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb has urged increased vigilance over opioid prescription practices and pain treatment.

But aggressive strategies to combat the opioid epidemic can have unintended consequences, Gottlieb and two other top FDA officials wrote in a commentary published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. In particular, they cite pregabalin, which is among the country’s top-selling medicines. Commonly known as the Pfizer drug Lyrica, the drug is often used to treat nerve and muscle pain.

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  • Hello, Catherine.
    Thank you so much for your support. For it is through your kindness, your thoughtfulness, and above all, your prayers that I find myself with hope!!
    Divine Intervention!! God knew how badly I needed to hear that “I matter”! It has been a dark time for me lately. I have felt all those emotions and battles you spoke of…and I have been crying out to God, a lot!! And today I feel so blessed, so very blessed!!! Thank you so much, Catherine.
    It was in my confusion, my fear, my anxiety, my pain that I just cried out, and I felt like giving up…but He allowed me to find a compassionate human being when I was truly questioning if there were any out there anymore.
    I’m not sure how to fight this fight. But I am a willing vessel, and I will not give up or give in. God calls us, as you said, to apply this scripture to our lives:
    ” I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith!! ” 2 Timothy 4:7 kjv
    I stand to be counted!!!! I realize my worth, I had nearly forgotten. I am filled with gratitude. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You have touched my life, and I will keep, and refer back to, your encouraging words; your wisdom is a blessing! I am becoming…! 🙇📿
    #HeIsHere #Grateful

    • Good morning Sheila,
      I have read your email just now and I am also grateful for the opportunity to have the insight about the situation that we have shared with one another to speak to what was in my heart and soul when I read your email replies to me.
      I thank you for your being here for me too. I know very little about many things in life, but I am always open to the meaning of my fellow souls who are in some type of pain that is within so many others too, myself included.

      I really do believe that our finding ourselves in this venue is a very powerful experience for the both of us. Hopefully, together as we have shared our experiences, maybe we have been a comfort for others too.

      I am feeling blessed by our connection with one another too. I hope that we are always going to be in one another’s lives with our profound experiences within this surprising place that is typically the exchange for a more scientific perspective than a spiritual experience between two individuals. I like to believe that we require both our spiritual life and our body about which we have to heal both, and others who have shared this insight with one another and in doing so, are also probably reaching out to others who are this need to be hear, as do we. Knowing that we have the best possible outcome for our lives is part of the healing process and I think is the most significant aspect to help us with our healing experience.

      I am always going to remember you whenever I pray for you and others for the blessings that we all need. It takes courage to be speaking this way in this comment section, and I know that you are a very courageous individual as I think that I try to be as well. We are never wrong when we speak from our hearts and souls about our pain, or blessings, and our joy of discovery especially when we look outside of the ways that most people have responded to this type of comment section where the topic is approached in a very different way. I thank you for reminding me that we have more ways for our helping one another than the majority of the people who respond in this section. I hope that you are going to continue to receive the message that is the first way of receiving the help and healing that we all need- in love and compassion for each other. Thank you for your sending this email to me, because I am needing you too.

      God bless you my dear Sheila, I will never stop thinking and praying for you, and I hope that you do so for me too.
      With joy and hope for good health for us and everyone else who is needing to heal too,

  • @Catherine D. Thank you for reaching out to me in response to my reply to your post. I do regret the frustration and lashing out that I know was evident in my tone. It wasn’t personal.
    I am very glad to hear from you. I just truly do not understand a country whose focus and judgement lies primarily in how much a person is worth or how much they can pay. I’m glad you were able to get the relief we all long for. Thank you for your well wishes, and I pray we all find our help we so desperately need.
    On another concern, I also believe that it’s wrong to discount pain, chronic pain, and deny opiate medication to patients without cancer. My pain is severe, and I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t get my medication. We all metabolize medication differently. We are being treated like robots. We are all unique and so is our pain and our suffering. Our country is in real trouble from where I’m looking.
    Best to you.😊

    • Good day Sheila,
      I am grateful for your email reply. Please don’t give it one moment longer; we have all been in the same situation. So, we are indeed in a strange land in our nation these days. I have often thought the same thing about the people who don’t have any recourse to be helped with the pain that we experience- no matter what the diagnosis. You bring up a very important truth, we are all unique individuals who have different experiences with our ability to overcome our pain. This is paramount for those – who will not consider when a human being is in the life changing chronic pain cycle. The quality of ones life is destroyed by a multitude of ways that have us so frightened, regarding our access to the pain relief that is not going to be offered for many individuals. It also adds to the stress of the individual whose pain is then affected by the stress especially; sort of feels like we are not worth the time, money, nor do we have any more idea as to what we are experiencing, in this case the federal government making decisions for everyone, instead of the medical practitioners who know their patients needs better than the government. I agree with you also about the fear of the current zeitgeist that is depleting more and more choices that are supposed to be our health care doctor.

      One last thought to share with you, is that you must always decide what is the value of your life for you and others who know you. Then we have to do everything possible to make sure that we, like any other individuals, are entitled to have some medication that has been the way that provides some comfort for each of us. I am appalled by the lack of ethics and integrity by those who don’t care, lacking in the compassion that we once had, but not now.

      I am also going to pray for you too, that you are a unique individual, who is in need. I have found more than ever before that prayers do get answered when we believe that we will be provided with the power which, is apparent in the answer to our prayers. Nevertheless, we have to insist that we are counted, as someone who has a severe pain issue. And fight the good fight with whatever you have to make it happen.

      Peace, joy and good health,

  • Both Neurotin ( brand name for gabapentin ), and Lyrica are the worst drugs I’ve been prescribed to take in the past, for a chronic neurological pain condition.

    I took the Lyrica for less than a week, and told the doctor that I was not going to continue taking a drug that made me sick; and the Neurotin was just as bad. I discontinued the both of them; canceled my appointment with this doctor ( who owned and was onsite at a treatment facility for pain overuse of patients who were in the large group home, trying to get off drugs and had to live in the small community where I was living when this still unknown eitology for my one day when I woke up, and was paralyzed for a while. Then the feeling returned to my body and I was in the most horrible pain of my life.

    Long story short, I tried two more doctors, and they were even worse with the drugs that they wanted me to take; I went to my physical therapist who is a true healer. I had been to him for a fractured foot a couple of years before, and he was a truly extraordinary individual with whom I was successfully able to receive the help from his expertise and my 10 plus pain was gone.

    I also decided to try acupuncture from an md, who changed his practice and only used acupuncture, Tradition Chinese protocol, while I tried some the herbal remedies for which he studied to become a doctor who was always at conferences and workshop for continued learning from the Chinese traditional methods of acupuncture. He spent years in China learning about his life ambitions to help the people with his decision to only be a practitioner of this treatment for pain with patients.

    Both he and my physical therapist saved my life, and without the need for any drugs ( I didn’t use the herbal treatments after a while, they didn’t agree with my system, so we decided not to continue with the herbal treatments ); I did learn Qi Jong, Tai Chi, and another great practice of attaining my own ability to overcome my pain with these two practitioners who helped me to obtain my quality of life again.

    It was an extraordinary experience that was a success, for me. My insurance company approved of my physical therapy, but not my treatment with the doctor who kept his western medical license and went to the annual ceu that all practicing medical health care providers are expected to receive each year.

    I was able to stop using the horrible drugs and became well again without the problems that I had with these awful drugs.

    I hope that soon the extremely helpful health care treatment is going to be reimbursed by insurance companies who are willing to pay for the individual to access the most awful drugs ever and be an ethical company for the individuals who are in need for help with serious health issues that I had.

    • Sheila, I did not have any of the most expensive medical treatments paid for either. We had to spend our money that we allocated for our retirement fund. I understand the situation you are in more than I think that you could ever know. I am not going to say exactly what that meant for myself, but I am certainly able to empathize with you about this situation. I have been an advocate for all people everywhere to be able to access the health care insurance that is available to each individual who does not have any insurance.

      I hope that you are soon able to also have the insurance for healthcare, along with everyone else who has been treated without any insurance.

      One last significant issue; my physical therapist is and always has been treating anyone who does not have any health care insurance, for free. Because that is his own decision to help everyone who is in need of his expertise.

      When I had my private practice as a psychotherapist I also provided my expertise for anyone who needed help, and did not charge my patients a fee. I hope that you find the other practioners that will help you with your personal experience when you need your health care issues attended to. I think that we are going to have the system changed for the best soon. Elections are going to have our lives restored for us all. In the meantime please continue to look for the practitioners who will treat you and your family, we are here.

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