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Please copy/personalize/paste the following letter into an email and send it to the email address below to National Pain Strategy by 5/20.  Let your voice be heard!  Be sure to add your name at the bottom and insert a few lines of your own where specified in the letter.

EMAIL: NPSPublicComments@NIH.gov   (copy and paste this email address to send)

Dr. Wanda Jones, Dr.P.H., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health

Dr. Anand Parekh, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health  – Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC  20201

Dear Drs. Jones and Parekh,

I am a parent that has either lost a child or has one suffering from the disease of addiction caused by physician prescribed opioids. [Please insert 1-2 sentences here summarizing how this CDC declared prescribed drug epidemic has impacted your life. Include the challenges in getting adequate/affordable treatment, how it feels to helplessly stand by and witness the horrible effects of active addiction, and in the worst case scenario how it felt to bury your child, family member or someone you loved.]

I appreciate the opportunity to review the Plan and submit feedback on it. However, you must understand the most recent studies negate the use of long-term opioids for non-cancerous pain (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25581257). Many of the letters you receive are paid for by Big Pharma with brilliant, strategic, calculated, and fatal marketing strategies (http://www.uspainfoundation.org/corporate-members.html). The advisory board HHS is planning to select should not include people who have significant financial relationships with opioid makers and the “advocacy groups” CAN NOT be industry funded. This advisory panel must be transparent.

I urge the Office to create an oversight body to resolve the question of “How did we get here”? Once answered, immediate steps need to be urgently taken to put an end to the narcotic dependent pandemic crisis in this country.

New mortality data indicates that medical user deaths (taken as prescribed) are surpassing the deaths of abusers (http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031914-122957). These deaths include Veterans, athletes, workers compensation patients, elderly patients in addition to a select few chronic diseases being treated within currently “acceptable” medical standards and yet, still causing deaths.

“Unmanaged pain” is a result of the lack of non-opioid multidisciplinary management and medical standards rather than the absence of opioids. What is “immoral and unethical” is prescribing potentially addicting and lethal opioid drugs for a wide range of disorders that have been inadequately evaluated and for which opioids have never been shown to be SAFE and EFFECTIVE long term. The documented and continuing opioid overprescribing leads to 2 of the worst possible outcomes in medicine: (1) igniting the potentially fatal and most difficult disease to treat: addiction, and (2) fatal poisoning (OD) DEATH which is the worst of all outcomes and must be prevented at all costs.

Our priorities must be prevention by avoiding opioids in most patients with chronic non-cancer pain, proper treatment of the pandemic numbers of US citizens addicted to and/or dependent on physician prescribed opioids. This includes saving the lives of the many pro-opioid advocates also submitting comments. A “National Pain Strategy” must focus on the great unmet need of non-opioid multidisciplinary therapies (more expensive/time consuming than physician narcotic prescriptions) of patients with chronic non-cancerous pain, while reserving opioids for the select minority who truly need them rather than the vast majority who are now getting them.

Sincerely,

[Insert First and Last Name, Address, City, State, ZIP]

 

ADDRESSES: 

The draft “National Pain Strategy”:

(http://iprcc.nih.gov/National_Pain_Strategy/NPS_Main.htm).

Email comments are preferred electronically to:NPSPublicComments@NIH.gov.

Written responses should be addressed to:

Linda Porter, Ph.D., NINDS/NIH, 31 Center Drive, Room 8A31, Bethesda, MD 20892.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Linda Porter, Ph.D., NINDS/NIH, 31 Center Drive, Room 8A31, Bethesda, MD 20892,  porterl@ninds.nih.gov

 

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