Exactly 10 years ago -December 2, 2013 - my first-ever published opinion piece about the erosion of pain control appeared in The New York Post. It was titled "New painful casualties of the drug war" and was written three years before the CDC's formal declaration of war on pain patients. It is frightening to look back a decade and see how much of this has come true. Plus much worse. Here is the article from the Post opinion page.
It is no secret that narcotic abuse mostly oxycodone and hydrocodone (the ingredients in Percocet and Vicodin, respectively) is a serious and growing problem in the US. So, leave it to our government the DEA in particular to screw it up more. Except, this time, their actions are certainly going to hurt patients with legitimate needs, and probably do little or nothing to combat the abuse problems. It may even make the problem worse.
What on earth is going on over at the FDA? Recently, they have been facing some very difficult issues regarding narcotic pain medications. In particular, as pointed out by ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom in his December 2nd op-ed in The New York Post, they just enacted a rule change that, ostensibly in the interest of combating drug abuse, will make it much more difficult for patients with legitimate need for drugs to control moderate-to-severe pain to get the medicines they need a seriously flawed idea.
Opiate drugs are widely used, and very effective, for pain relief. They are also the drugs of choice for many addicts.