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From Fred Upton, Michigan Representative

Dear Friend,

 

Just yesterday the 21st Century Cures Act was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 344-77.

 

Yes, this is big news.

 

Political divisions dissolved as Congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle recognized that the bill I have been championing for more than a year with my friend and co-sponsor, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, is truly a transformational, forward-thinking policy that benefits patients, families and job-creators across the country.

 

Our 21st Century Cures Act makes sure our laws, regulations, and resources keep pace with scientific advances while maintaining the gold-standard level of safety for patients. In this, the greatest country in the world, Americans deserve a system second to none.

 

Our 21st Century Cures effort seeks to expand the hope and optimism that countless patients exude despite sometimes insurmountable odds. They know they need the next generation of treatments and cures, but they do not have time to wait. They need them today. It currently takes 10 years for new life-saving drugs and devices to slog through the approval process. That is an unacceptable time frame. We can and we will find ways to get cures to patients faster and safely.

 

The idea conceived a year and a half ago that Congress could work together to help boost research and innovation by listening to patients, researchers, innovators, and health experts from across the health spectrum and across the country, including those at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, to its first, vital step with House passage on Friday.

 

From here the 21st Century Cures Act heads to the Senate. We need your help, so stay engaged!

 

To learn more about 21st Century Cures and other legislative activities please visit my website:upton.house.gov

 

God Bless,

 

-Fred

 

Fred Upton

Member of Congress

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Uncategorized

My Story

I’m now a 49-year-old man with severe chronic back and neck pain directly due to a slip and fall accident that I suffered just over 15 years ago while at work. I have started this blog as an attempt to band together with others in the US who are suffering with chronic pain no matter what the cause. My goal is to organize and take a demonstrative action against the government agencies like the DEA and FDA for their interference in our medical treatments. I am not just looking for patients, I am also looking for Physicians, Pharmacists and especially attorneys who believe that the DEA’s involvement in impeding the treatment of chronic pain suffers with opiates and even marijuana have hurt more people than helped.

My blog is open to all comments either positive or negative but don’t be surprised if you are rebutted harshly when you are negative. I want as many people as possible who are willing to tell their stories with impact, please vent your frustrations openly. I have found that venting mine on other sites has helped to relieve some of my stress. No need to mince words here, just tell it as it is. DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAND TALL EVEN IF YOU CAN’T STAND AT ALL!!!!!

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Uncategorized

Pain Killers and the Press

Automatically when people find out that you take prescription pain medications, your a pillhead (addict). It was truly funny, the very first post I made about my chronic pain and the problems like how much more it costs me every month for treatment and prescriptions because of the opiate rescheduling by the DEA. Five minutes after my post, I received an email from a group offering to help me with my addition. Obviously they didn’t even read my post, they just assumed that it if I was talking about opiates that automatically I have to be an addict.

I also find it strange that the national media is refusing to report on the problems that the DEA and other federal agencies are causing when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain. I have sent several emails to CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC and CNBC regarding this issue with not a single return answer. Yet every other commercial on their stations have to do with addiction.

In my opinion, it seems as if we are going back to the days of hiding and forgetting people who have disabilities. Our physicians are afraid to treat us for fear of being prosecuted for over prescribing pain medications, pharmacy’s are refusing to fill prescriptions for that same fear. Maybe the medical profession should start throwing wild party’s for the DEA like the Cartels do so they can start getting away with practicing medicine again.

People who suffer from chronic pain aren’t BSing. It’s a real life affliction that is truly difficult to live with and people are dying every day because of it. I suffer every single day of my life, I rarely sleep because of the pain and when I do get so exhausted that I finally get to fall asleep, I wake up and I’m in so much pain that I can’t move until my meds kick in. I don’t take pain medications because I need to, I don’t even take them because I have to. I take these medications because if I didn’t, I would probably be dead.

 

 At one time my doctors lowered my pain medications and my blood pressure went through the roof. One doctor was actually amazed that I didn’t stroke out right then and there. They increased my blood pressure medications but it didn’t help. They increased my pain medication and my blood pressure dropped again to tolerable levels. So with me it’s a matter of survival, not a matter of dependency. Trust me, I would give almost everything have not to be in this pain. I hate popping pills every 4 to 6 hours  just to have a couple hours of normality a day. I can’t stand the fact that I can never do the things I used to love to do, like race dirt bikes or play softball. So people need to quit looking at me as a drug addict and start seeing me as physically impaired. 

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chronic pain, Uncategorized

Costs of pain relief

  Why is it that the very people we have elected to government are trying to hurt us? Recently the law makers of the United States decided to reschedule prescription pain medications containing Hydrocodone as a schedule 2 narcotic. This selfish and one sided decision was put into place to combat a growing problem of addiction to these medications that contain opioids. Although I do agree that there is a problem concerning these drugs, I do not believe in the way that this is being handled.

 

 

 

  First, the decision to make medications such as Norco, Vicodin and a wide variety of others that are legally prescribed by licensed physicians to patients to combat chronic pain is doing nothing but causing these patients more pain. If the government knew that they were going to do this, they should have put some sort of financial compansations into place to help these patients be able to afford the restrictions. I, like hundreds of thousands of people in this country need these medications to treat my chronic neck and back pain. My prescriptions simply help me to tolerate daily life with less pain and I would be confined to a wheelchair without them.

 

 Know,  just to receive my medication, I have to go to my specialist every single month, the out of pocket copay costs and even the gas to drive the 80 miles round trip are rediculis. This is hitting me directly in the wallet and to tell you the truth I can not afford these changes. I am going to my doctor every month, he’s not even examining me on these visits because he just saw me 28 days before and nothing has changed. He simply asks me a couple questions and writes my prescription. But here’s the kicker, it costs the same as a full examination would cost, $135 per visit out of pocket  $46, $15 for gas and $15 for my prescription. This is $76 every month out of pocket, it’s a little hard to afford for a single income family. I am disabled and unfortunately I’m still waiting on my SSDI, we receive no help from the State or anyone else. My wife pays for health insurance through her place of employment which is  $224 every two weeks plus I also have other ailments including Cardiovascular disease, Fibromyalgia and Diabetes and the cost of prescriptions for these medications are an additional $102 per month. All costs to us are now $626 per month which is 42% of my wife’s bring home every month. 

 

 

 

 Next, these new restrictions are not going to stop a single thing. People who are addicted to drugs, alcohol or anything always find a way and Drug dealers know this. I simply cannot believe that the DEA or anyone else involved in this decision hadn’t thought about this but I guess when government is involved that common sense just Flys out the window. This is what our elected officials actually did,  they have now created a new market for illegal drugs. Dealers and drug trafficers are smart, I wouldn’t be surprised if millions of dollars worth of pain pills aren’t crossing our borders daily. They are guaranteed to be on the streets as I am writing this and selling for cheaper prices then they can be bought legally, it will start driving people who can’t afford to continue their regular visits to their medical professionals to the dealers on the streets. I mean, look at our history. In the early 20th century a little law called the Volstead act turned a bunch of street punks into a very rich and organized crime syndicates. Now watch history repeat itself! 

 

 

 

 So my final thoughts are, either our government is too naive to make this realization or there are some of them at higher levels in our government in on the business with the dealers. History also shows that that is possible, government officials were on the take back then, why can’t they be today? It’s time for the masses to stand up for their rights once again and it’s time for our government to stop experimenting with idiotic ideas on the citizens that have already given so much to their country.

 

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Uncategorized

DEA, Doctors or Dealers

Patients for Pain Relief

What gives the DEA, FDA and the federal Government the right to practice medicine?

Absolutely nothing, since the Government and its organizations got involved with medical treatments for chronic pain sufferers it’s ended up costing the patients. Not only do pain patients who are going to licensed physicians to be treated for their conditions have to now jump through hoops just to get their medications. But now it’s costing them more money just to get treated. These new regulations on Hydrocodone based pain medication are making the patient have to go to their pain specialist every single month. I myself am a chronic pain sufferer and go to my doctor every month just to get my Norco 10/325. I recently became disabled because of a spinal injury that happened years ago and gradually became worse. My dilemma is that the insurance that I had at the time of the initial…

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Uncategorized

DEA, Doctors or Dealers

What gives the DEA, FDA and the federal Government the right to practice medicine?

Absolutely nothing, since the Government and its organizations got involved with medical treatments for chronic pain sufferers it’s ended up costing the patients. Not only do pain patients who are going to licensed physicians to be treated for their conditions have to now jump through hoops just to get their medications. But now it’s costing them more money just to get treated. These new regulations on Hydrocodone based pain medication are making the patient have to go to their pain specialist every single month. I myself am a chronic pain sufferer and go to my doctor every month just to get my Norco 10/325. I recently became disabled because of a spinal injury that happened years ago and gradually became worse. My dilemma is that the insurance that I had at the time of the initial injury is no longer responsible for my treatment due to the fact that I didn’t have continual treatment after it happened. The major problem with spinal injuries are that you can actually feel better after physical therapy and pharmaceutical treatment only for the problems to return years later.

Insurance and workmens comp. companies know this. They pay their Doctors to treat an injury with minimal cost to them. Physicians working for insurance companies will never offer tests such as MRI viewing or CT scans to establish the extent of damage caused by a back injury. But as a patient, you can request either. You can also request a second opinion by a doctor of your choice. I only wish I would have known this 15 years ago. You only have 1 year after treatment stops to file a claim and I was simply too later.

Now my costs are building up so fast that there is no possible way for me to afford them. On the average,  my wife and I are paying  $526 per month for insurance coverage and medical treatments. This is impossible on a single income, unless we decided to move under a bridge with the rest of the homeless. Yes it will get better as soon as my SSDI is awarded  but remember, we are dealing with the federal government. They never wanted to wait for my income tax payments for 33 years, but they sure do take their time when it comes to paying us.

If the government would have never gotten involved in my medical treatments,  my monthly medical would be 25% less.

Please feel free to tell your story or make comments about mine.

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