Opinion: DEA Denying Necessary Medications


By Steve Ariens P.D. Pharmacist.

“There are an estimated 20 – 30 million patients suffering from intractable chronic pain—most of whom require opiates 24/7 to help manage their pain.  Best practices and standard of care for these patients would entail a long acting opiate and a short acting opiate – for breakthrough pain.

Presuming each prescription is for a 30-day supply–it would take 480-million to 720-million opioid prescriptions to meet the needs of this segment of our population.  The last number I saw posted of legal opiate prescriptions paid (2016) was 215 million. So, we entered 2017 anticipating fewer than 30% of the legal opiate prescriptions being filled at this or lower levels going forward.

These figures strongly suggest that of the 100-million-plus of chronic pain patients and an untold number of patients dealing with acute pain would lack any opiates available for treatment.

The DEA has proven that its “beliefs”, “opinions” and other non-factual reasons that “help” the agency make decisions and take actions have little/nothing to do with the REALITY of what opiates/controlled substances are, in fact, needed by those who have a valid medical necessity.”

Read more @ National Pain Report here