The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released an official statement to the mainstream media on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, with “clarification” regarding their 2016 Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing for Treatment of Chronic Non Cancer Pain.
To wit, they caution against forced tapers, discontinuing opioid therapy in patients who have been on opioid therapy long term, and against lowering doses to low levels that cause patient harms.
CDC has announced they are in line with FDA regarding forced tapering of opioid medication in long time opioid therapy patients. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
What is a surprise is that any announcement is being made at all in this fashion by the CDC.
FDA is the authority in the Unites States regarding all prescribed medication and rules governing medication.
FDA issues the rules all other agencies must follow. No agency outranks FDA.
Astonishingly, the CDC guidelines have been adhered to across the board without a single document or rubber stamp from FDA.
This is a grave matter to consider. One that all Americans should really think about.
The regulatory agency that issues all rules regarding medications never once issued any official permissions from their agency for the wholesale application of the CDC guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
Yet, the United States has across the board clinically applied these harmful guidelines. What does this say about authority?
To include over 30 states basing erroneous and extremely harmful legislation upon these guidelines. What does this mean? We need to really think about this.
It appears that some of the stakeholders ignored the hierarchy of government agency structure in their zeal to throttle opioids — even in the face of all that data we showed them time and again proving that what we were saying was true, that painful disease patients were not causing their “opioid crisis”.
They completely ignored the authority of the FDA.
It appears that those in the know counted on “Everyday Joe American” not understanding the rules around prescribed medication policy.
What is worse, the American public has passively allowed some to practice medicine via legislation in over half of our 50 states… all based on these guidelines issued by the CDC, which were never officially endorsed by the regulatory body FDA.
When advocates pointed out medicine was being practiced without a license, that FDA had never officially adopted the CDC guidelines as policy; they were demonized, ridiculed, and discredited.
What do we have left today?
A situation where an agency that has no business issuing policy statements on any drugs walking back a massively misapplied guideline that was blanket enforced across the United States without approval by the very government agency created to keep citizens from harm due to thoughtless policy such as this.
We must be serious and thoughtful about this going forward.
Why was this patently ignored by all involved?
Why were stakeholders encouraged to practice medicine without a license based on these guidelines, not based on thoughtful guidance from the actual rule making and regulatory agency on drugs — FDA?
The current narrative CDC is promulgating places the blame for the guideline fiasco, patient deaths, misery and force tapering on “physician misapplication”.
This is nothing more than artful deflection and political pandering at the highest levels.
Firstly, why would the CDC place a disclaimer on their work in the first place? Surely, if they were confident in their contracted work and guidance, there would be no need for a CYA.
Also, one needs to look no further than the DEA and their unhinged arresting of physicians, left and right, through PDMP (prescription drug program monitoring) targeting.
If physicians have “been allowed” all along (per what the CDC is now saying) to prescribe opioids at the amounts patients require to relieve their pain, then why is the DEA using the PDMP to target physicians who… prescribe any opioids?
In fact, isn’t the PDMP supposed to be an aid for doctors to keep drug addicts from working the system, not a tool for law enforcement (99.9% of whom are clueless about pharmacology and medicine, dosages) to use to target doctors in some kind of fantastical “pre-crime” Minority Report profiling system?
Social engineering has conditioned society at this point to view any person who needs or uses opioids in a negative, dim way.
Therefore the CDC knows that they can wholesale push anything onto the public at this point and it will be believed by most, unquestioned.
Please start asking questions.
Don’t let these agencies attempt to talk their way around, shame patients and doctors, and weasel around their extremely questionable actions and culpability.
It makes virtually no sense at all, the way this has all unfolded. Now it appears that it will be rugswept and hopefully no one with a credible reach will point it out to the public.
To illustrate how nonsensical the entire scenario has been and still is, think of it in this way:
Insurers are tired of paying out claims on texting and driving accidents. They want to reduce the numbers of teenagers even getting licenses in the first place. Stakeholders reach out to FCC.
In response, the FCC issues a broad guidance on driver’s licenses, across the country. All driver’s license centers that test people for driver’s licenses have a list of suggestions, 18 to be precise, of things that FCC thinks are pertinent to the fight against texting and driving.
These suggestions are not laws. They are not issued by Congress. However, the driver’s license centers notice that if they don’t implement the suggestions, their funding is denied at the state level. Many of the centers have had to close in the wake of the suggestions. Some of the driver’s license test implementers think the suggestions are unfair. These people have gotten visits from the government. They have been threatened with early retirement from government service or loss of their pension if they don’t go along with the suggestions from FCC. Whistleblowing does nothing. Whistleblowing only works if one can whistle blow to an agency that isn’t in on the scam… if they are all in, it does nothing but put a target on one’s back.
Others have pointed out that FCC has zero jurisdiction over driver’s licenses. That is under the jurisdiction of the DMV.
Anyone who points this out finds themselves the target of attacks, personal and professional. The person finds their reputation is quickly destroyed in an insidious, relentless manner.
Soon the vast majority of the United States public believes that driver’s licenses are a very expensive and time consuming ordeal to obtain, versus what they used to be; a rite of passage for a teenager- something a parent would look forward to doing with their child as the age approached. People on social media view and attack others who speak out on this issue as non-conformist, elitist, or conspirators, as well as horrible parents for allowing their children to even drive, thanks to being socially engineered by government hired influencers.
The fact that a federal agency that had no invitation or business injecting themselves into rules and regulations of another agency is not even noted by anyone. It was worked out behind closed doors as usual.
The goal was obtained. Reducing the number of driver’s licenses being sought in the first place.
A simple analogy to illustrate.
It is this big, and the loss of critical thinking skills is how we have gotten to this point as a society.
No one thinks thoughtfully anymore before they make a judgment on an issue in today’s culture, largely because everything is designed to be “up to the minute, blink and you’ll miss it, move out of the way, so fast”.
Consider the idea pushed so heavily regarding opioid addiction — that “addiction will happen in five days exposure”.
Addiction will happen in five days exposure, to a person predisposed to addiction to any substance, guaranteed, for sure. Whether it be alcohol, nicotine, methamphetamines, cocaine, opioids… if one is an addict, it will happen.
However, most of the adult population of the United States has been exposed to an opioid medication at some point of their life by age 30. We do not have a society of 350 million opioid addicts.
This is a classic example of the social engineering promulgated upon society laid bare for all to see. Our parents and grandparents were not opioid addicts. They would not have entertained the notion that this was true. Why do we?
We hear stories of the infamous “morphine addicts” of long ago before morphine was made a prescription item — the women (of course) who were “addicted” to the cough syrups loaded with morphine and sold by country peddlers.
I have read these stories myself. I always think:
- “How many of these women had untreated painful disease? Is it hard to imagine many did?”
- “How presumptuous is it to assume all these women were ‘addicts’ and not merely dependent upon these medicines, went through withdrawal and were fine? I have never once read the word dependent in a single account.”
- “Did these women destroy their lives, their families, after these medicines were put behind the counter? Or did they carry on with life? No one has much to say after the dramatic proclamation that there were ‘hoards of female morphine addicts.”
- “Who is to say they were all ‘morphine addicts’? (Only those with an agenda to push).”
- “Misogyny is alive and well, even in historical storytelling. Women were “hysterical patients and exaggerating their symptoms” throughout history. Why would today’s women expect any different treatment?”
Please unite, stand up against these false narratives, these untruths, these engineered stories, and demand action for patients and society in the name of informed consent and truth in health care decision making.
Allowing our physicians to practice medicine without state sponsored restrictions, free and unfettered, should be first and foremost.
They are licensed and trained. They should be allowed to fully practice medicine under the law, as they are trained to do.
The legislation proposed and put into place in over half the states that is based upon guidelines that weren’t even approved by the regulatory body overseeing medications in the United States could be challenged at the very least. Legislation that was written by people not trained or licensed to practice medicine, I might add.
The forced compliance of society to participate in a study that was engineered into place without their informed consent is also a grave concern.
The pain contracts patients are forced to sign to receive prescription pain medication are illegal. It is textbook extortion.
The PDMP system stand alone is wrought with privacy issues. It is extremely vulnerable to attack, easy to exploit, has very sensitive patient information contained within and no one in a position of authority seems to care that all of it is on the cloud without a single signature of informed consent.
The vast majority of patients do not even realize this system exists or what it even is or contains!
I fail to see how any insurer or healthcare system could possibly think this falls under informed decision making or consensual care, or possibly justify this system as any kind of team building with the patient included.
These are but a couple of very real concerns that are glaringly obvious.
Consider these, read the linked documents, and consider what I have said some more.
I don’t want any person to make quick decisions. I want every person to be thoughtful and deliberate in how they decide to proceed.
I hope that all who read my work decide to unite behind the message — that we are taking our patient power back, as free American citizens, and demanding truth and transparency in our healthcare going forward.
The only free society is an informed society.
Heather Wargo is a Medium Top Writer in Government, Politics, Health, and Social Media. She is a freelance writer and advocate for incurable painful disease patients and physicians affected by governmental overreach.
Heather Wargo has been published by The Western Journal, Lifesite News, The Startup, The Ascent, P.S. I Love You, Publishous, Uncalendared, The Writer’s Cooperative and Writer’s Guild.
She is a member in good standing in The Society of Professional Journalists.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece.
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