Comments from Patients on what they would like to tell the Legislators

Thomas F. Kline, M.D., Ph.D November, 2017

Ed: I asked the 15,000 chronic pain patients I follow on social media (twitter) to tell me what message I should take to the legislators on my

visit to Washington. I immediately got over 150 responses. These are just a few unedited comments taken at random,

● Tell the governmental agencies to stay out of our doctors exam rooms. To quit practicing medicine with seeing a patient or having a medical degree. Insurance companies STAY OUT OF medical practice an prescribing.

● Don’t fix the #opoidcrisis by taking much needed medications from chronic pain patients. Don’t make it more difficult for those in need to get pain meds that can be literally life saving.

● I would like this entire discussion re-branded as the #EmpathyCrisis, thank you.

● That we’re suffering. We are literally dying for lack of pain relief. That the only thing we’re “addicted” to is pain relief.

● Please tell them its ridiculous that the Doctor, pharmacy & insurance each get to decide who’s worth treating, while the PATIENT, the one in pain, gets no say at all! My aunt killed herself bc of untreated pain.. they couldn’t figure out why she was in pain until AFTER her suicide.

● Also please tell them this medication cut Doesn’t affect me myself included my kids and my wife because I cannot get off the bed and go to work to taking care my family Shame begging for help they are trying to kill us to cutting medication that works

● Please let them know the VA situations are NOT fixed. No pain tx, refusal of pain meds, extended wait (months not weeks), refusing to use vet choice and fee basis. All that needs done is scratch the surface. These are glaring problems that leave untreated pain pts in a terrible situation

● Intractable pain! Remind them pain patients did not just break a bone. After everthing we have gone through to feel better, don’t make me feel bad asking for pain relief that I can just swallow.

● Jails are NOT drug treatment centers. Stop criminalizing addiction, a MEDICAL CONDITION. The opioid crisis is of the government’s own making. Legitimate Pain patients shouldn’t pay the price. America is badly broken.

● I trust you that you know exactly what to say, how millions are suffering from the interference by government agencies that this has become a witch hunt against all chronic pain patients (cpp).
Thank you for giving us all a voice

● Tell them I just want to say ”We are responsible CPP’s (chronic pain patients), we only want what we feel is fair to treat chronic pain. we feel we are judged unfairly simply b/c some of us have taken pain meds for decades due to a disease, in my case a horrific MVA I REC’d

● Give them personal examples of what denying meds do to CP (chronic pain) patients does to their lives. Not only severe pain, but even mild pain daily has a huge impact. Your are denying moms the ability to take care of their babies, denying people from working, and your going to drive up the suicides

● They need to stop lumping addiction with pain treatment & repeal the 2016 CDC guidelines

● Cancer and chronic pain patients should not be put in the same category as the misuse and abuse memorandum from CMS. I have been on the same med for 20 years with no misuse or abuse.

● Yes!!! stay out of my dr. visits. Creditable drs. follow rules already there! govt is going to cause unintended deaths when chronic pain sufferers can’t get their medication because govt makes big pharma stop making meds! so many said they would commit suicide! Scary

● To be honest, it is the patients that need to talk to these legislators, but the problem is if you are in chronic pain travel is a nightmare. Stop demonizing doctors that treat #CPP and let the doctors decide along with the patient what that patient needs to control pain.

● That this #opiodcrisis should not be fought on the bodies and backs of #ChronicPain patients. It’s not a logical solution and are our lives disposable? Should we further suffer because other buy and use #heroin?

● Ask them if they’re ok with the upcoming suicide crisis? Because where we are is causing that

(Ed: link to documented suicides due to forced reductions in pain medications)

● Have them read stories where patients that were stable on the amount of medications they were on and productive are now bedridden and filing for disability and social services things or committing suicide Because the pain is intolerable having detrimental effects on their families (Ed: this exact story was told by a successful MD pathologist who was denied medicines, quit his life’s work he loved and went on disability)

● Oh my goodness YES! Tell them CVS treats me like a crack head every time! It’s embarrassing, degrading and uncalled for, especially if there’s a crowd! I have over 30 meds on file so obviously I’m sick but it doesn’t matter to the CVS pharmacists! Shame on CVS (Ed: not just CVS)

● Encourage them to stop the DEA’s over reach of power. The govt should never be in the middle of the Doctor/pateint relationship.

Thomas F. Kline, MD, PhD

Chronic Disease Specialist

Raleigh, North Carolina

Twitter @thomasklinemd, email:

42 years varied primary care • former Chief, Hospital in Home Service @harvardmed • formerly: @UofMaryland, @StanfordDeptMed, @uoregon •

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