On November 1, 2021 the Oklahoma, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances Committee held a hearing. The purpose was to discuss an interim study that was done about rapid de-prescribing and the horrific effects it has had on patients. This was requested and organized by Tamera Stewart-P3Alliance Policy Director, Julia Heath-P3Alliance Director of Medical Initiatives, along with their leadership team.
Some of the speakers were Beth Darnall ,PhD from Stanford University, Dr. Vanila Singh, other doctors, a pharmacist, and chronic pain patients.Beth Darnall, Phd:
- "We are exposing vulnerable patients to new health risks by reducing opioid prescriptions."
- "We saw increased health problems, suicidal ideation, suicides, overdose deaths as a consequence or opioid reductions themselves."
- Dr. Darnall mentions this recent Jama study on the association of dose tapering with overdose or mental health crisis among patients prescribed long-term opioids.
- We've failed to implement patient-centered care for our most vulnerable population.
Dr. Vanila Singh
- "The CDC Guidelines, which were made to help guide primary care physicians, have turned into a template of state laws and inappropriately applied to situations which it never was intended to."
- "There was a dumbing down algorithmic approach of assuming anybody that was on an opioid for indicated medical conditions were taking it for the wrong reasons and were automatically assumed to be addicted without sympathy, was probably the worst thing we saw."
- Human Rights Watch said while US has always led the way on pain treatment, it now has now made regressive steps because we have lost our empathy in terms of pain and suffering and have reverted to a callous outlook.
- "Prescriptions have gone down because of the great fear of the DEA and medical boards. All doctors know this. Anyone who is even trying to treat their patients with opioids is sticking their neck out there and are asking for trouble, which is sad."
- We are seeing the opposite of what should be happening.
- Patients cut off have no resource and no doctor to help them.
- "Medicine is an art, and if we have the dumbing down algorithmic approach, we lose the best type of medicine this country has established."
- "Not only are we not treating these folks (in pain) but we are also worsening the illicit drug crisis."
Watch the press conference that took place after the meeting
Read this article in a Tulsa newspaper regarding this hearing. "Opioid crackdown had tremendous fallout with more suicides, drug overdoses among patients, lawmakers told."
As soon as the handouts from this presentation are available, we will add them here for you.