You say you want to help? Here’s how:
Here are a couple of letters *YOU* can use to contact your local representatives and help start the dialogue on our current terrible situation.
I did not write it and have made *no* changes to them at this time…
Remember that it is *IMPORTANT* that you contact your *OWN* representatives because they rarely look at mail that isn’t postmarked from their own district(s)
Also, the more personal you can make them, the more effective they are likely to be!
Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or even complete rewrites either here oon the blog or in the comments sections fo the various FB pages where I have posted link-backs to this page!
This is *OUR* fight, but it is also each of *YOUR* fight as will..
*Please* give us some input here…
They are currently set for Certain counties in Florida, but can give some good ideas of what *Your* letters may need to say…
The Honorable [Richard Nugent] *or* [Dennis Ross] *or* [Marco Rubio]
[ address ]
[Dear Congressman Nugent:] <For residents in the Brooksville area.
[Dear Congressman Ross:] <For residents in the Lakeland area.
[Dear[Senator Rubio:] <For all Florida residents.
I am one of some 1.9 million eligible voters in the state of Florida who suffer from chronic pain, requiring the prescribing, dispensing and administering of medications to treat the pain. To begin, I refer you to a letter which you co-authored with several of your colleagues. The letter was addressed to Michele Marie Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, dated October 2, 2012. (for Senator Rubio, July 24, 2012)
On behalf of other pain-suffering constituents, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for calling upon the Administrator to begin rule making proceedings to regulate certain conduct of the of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) . I have a chronic condition that requires me to use pain medication legally obtained and used per a doctor's prescription. In its effort to enforce the laws relating to illegal drug use, the DEA has engaged in activities which have deleteriously impacted the legitimate user of prescription medications. We hope our plight would be considered in the rule-making proceedings which your letter requests as a part of a comprehensive solution to the problem.
I am a member of the "Pain Advocacy and Information Network, Inc." (PAIN-INC). As such I have access to case histories, anecdotes and testimonials documenting abuse of the DEA's law enforcement power and the creation of a climate of fear for doctors, pharmacies and patients involved in the prescription delivery system. We need the DEA rule-making which your letter seeks.
PAIN-INC originated on Facebook as an advocacy and support group for chronic pain sufferers. We have garnered considerable interest to the point that status as a non-profit corporation under Section 501(c) is under active review at this time. Our group comprises some 40 current active members. We have been in existence a mere 40 days and our numbers are growing daily. In addition we have other groups with which we affiliate which brings our effective voices to over one hundred and growing.
When we learned of your letter to the DEA, we thought it would be an opportunity to join in your request for rule-making. Our grievances with DEA officers are real and documented. Our group testimonials are replete with instances of overreaching by DEA officers. I cannot overstate our vital interest in this cause. We are the unwitting victims of this right which you seek redress in communicating with the DEA. Your cause mirrors our very reason for our existence.
Just consider this example of how the system is failing. The term ""pharmacy crawl" has emerged. It is not an urban myth but a reality that challlenges us every time we try to refill a prescription. Supplies uneven, the specter of the DEA haunting "on scene", the prescription pain patient travels ("crawls") from pharmacy to pharmacy in search for a place to get a duly written prescription filled without fear, delay, excuse or humiliation. All the while the DEA hovers over them treating them as if they were common criminals. Law abiding citizens have a right to receive their medications without the blustery and oppressive meddling by the DEA.
Now ,please don't misunderstand: We recognize and even approve of the DEA and Attorney General's "Strike Force" designed to crackdown on illicit drug use, but the DEA has cast its net too wide — catching the lawful user in its nefarious net. In short, we need regulatory rules to curtail this federal agency from violating our rights.
Finally, I ran across something which may be pertinent to the promulgation of rules in this field of the law. especially if a comprehensive approach is taken. I have appended below a "Pain Patients' Bill of Rights" for your review. It occurs to me that these themes could serve as a point of departure in arriving at an omnibus solution to the problem we jointly face.which sets forth some specific tenets offering a more comprehensive approach to this overriding issue.
Thank you again for your efforts to institute rule-making proceedings. I also appreciate your time reading this letter and your favorable consideration of our involvement in this issue of common interest.
[ name. address, phone #]
Pain Patients Bill of Rights
1] The right to have your report of pain taken seriously and to be treated with dignity and respect by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
2] The right to be referred to and have your pain thoroughly assessed by a controlled substance prescribing practitioner or registered pain management clinic (PMC) and promptly treated;
3] The right to treatment shall be based on medical necessity in the sole discretion of the prescribing practitioner or PMC which order any licensed community pharmacies to dispense same without equivocation unless probable cause exists by law enforcement that a violation of law is occurring. (This shall not preclude communication between prescribing physician and pharmacy in the event of an ambiguity on the prescription to be dispensed, dosage and other order on the prescribing document.)
4] The right to be informed by your doctor about what may be causing your pain, possible treatments, and the benefits, risks and costs of each.
5] The right to participate actively in decisions about how to manage your pain.
6] The right to have your pain reassessed regularly and your treatment adjusted if your pain has not been eased.
7] The right to be referred to a pain specialist or a PMC if your pain persists.
8] The right to get clear and prompt answers to your questions, take time to make decisions, and refuse a particular type of treatment if you choose.
9] The right to be referred to a pain specialist or a PMC if your pain persists.
10] The right to get clear and prompt answers to your questions, take time to make decisions, and refuse a particular type of treatment if you choose.
American Pain Foundation
The Honorable Kathy Castor, ** sample lettter
Congresswoman, Florida's 11th Congressional
Dear Congresswoman Castor:
Kindly allow me to introduce myself. My name is Arthur T. Hanscum. I live at Mira Bay in Apollo Beach in your Congressional District. You have my vote. You always will, but it is not as an elector that I write this letter but rather as constituent requesting action on your part. While I have handled many "letters to congressperson" as will be explained below, this is my first letter I , myself, have authored to my "congressman".
I am a lifelong Democrat, originally from Wyoming. I did constituent service for Teno Roncalio who served as Wyoming's sole Congressmen for several terms in the '60 and '70s. He was last Democrat to serve in Congress from Wyoming, a "red State" before red was red as coined by Tim Russert on 1980. It remains one of the most steadfast red States in the Union. It is so red , it makes me blush just thinking of it, but what do you do with this accident of birth? I served as field representative for Congressman Roncalio from 1972-1975.
On a personal note, you and I have several things in common. I was a judge, as your Father was a judge. My daughter was a judge's daughter, as are you. She, like you, attended law school. She attended Denver University law school. She is in her early '40's, like you. Oh how the stories you two could share about the "slings and arrows" as you experienced growing up as a judge's kid. She has MY grandchildren, like you have yours.
Enough of that prologue, I know your time is valuable especially during this time of year, Halloween. I went through five such electoral eve tricks 'n treats during my tenure with Teno. I write you now to seek your support for an issue which has received recent attention in Florida – the plight of the legitimate use of prescription pain medicines for chronic pain sufferers. The issue is not very sexy but to the estimated 1.9 million eligible voters in the state of Florida who suffer from chronic pain, it is a seminal issue in their life.
Herein lies the rub: During the proper enforcement of the drug laws designed to prosecute illegal "street use", the DEA has cast it's net too wide. In Florida when one has too wide a net, too many unintended fish are caught in the web. The Governor and Attorney General who head up the "Strike Force" of the so-called "war on drugs" are no help. They are tone deaf on this subject. This is where you or your ear comes in.
Fortunately, this issue has been noticed by several of your colleagues. For your convenience, we have uncovered and enclose herewith a copy of a letter, dated October 2, 2012, addressed to Michele Marie Leonhart, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration and signed by 13 of your colleagues, including Congressman Nugent, from Brooksville and Congressman Ross, from Lakeland. I don't know if you are in this loop or whether you are familiar with the subject. Federal action is appropriate inasmuch as rule-making authority granted to the DEA has not yet been done. Also, there are ancillary aspects involving state law which impacts pharmacies, docs and patients.
I am addressing this this matter with you in my representative capacity with an internet advocacy and support group known as the "Pain Advocacy and Information Network, Inc. (PAININC)". I am requesting that you or one of your staffers review this correspondence and get back to me about your impressions and whether you could see fit to author a similar letter in support of our standing in this matter. I will inform the group of your reply.
On behalf myself and other pain-suffering constituents, including Florida members, I want to thank you for considering this request for service on this issue of paramount concern, namely, the overreaching of the of the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and its impact on lawful users of prescription medications. If I can help you by providing case histories in support of these efforts, I have access to a host of anecdotes and testimonials attesting to the DEA's conduct.
For your information, PAIN-INC operates primarily on the internet. Our 503(c)(3) corporate status is in the works. Our group comprises some 40 current active members. We have been in existence a mere 40 days and are numbers are growing daily. In addition we have other groups with which we affiliate which brings our effective voices to over one hundred and growing.
I speak with the authority of the Board of Directors when I say that if we can help you in anyway as you study address this issue, we will be more than happy to assist you any way we can. I cannot overstate our vital interest in this cause. Ultimately, our group probably will get at loggerheads with the DEA. Our membership feels aggrieved at the hands of the DEA and the members have some tales to tell.
We have in our archives and would be happy to give you many case histories which chronicle and document the fear- inducing and perhaps illegal conduct of the DEA in its over-reach of the drug laws. Doctors, pharmacies and patients have the right to get prescriptions filled without fear, delay or the humiliation or the blustery meddling in this issue by the DEA resulting in the travel from pharmacy to pharmacy looking to fill prescription medicines in the so-called the "pharmacy crawl". Enforcement of the law is one thing. We are no quarrel with that, but unjustified harassment is entirely different matter. It is hoped that rule-making under federal law will correct this injustice. That is the import of the letter of the "13" attached. I would add that Senator Rubio has signed a similar letter with several of his Senate colleagues.
As an initial suggestion evidencing a more universal approach to the broader issue with which we are concerned, I append a "Pain Patients' Bill of Rights". This addresses a more comprehensive approach to this overriding issue. We may be contacting you about potential legislation in this regard or if you wish to give your thinking on this or any other related matter, please let me know. .
Again, with my deepest gratitude, I am
[address & phone # – optional]
Patient Bill Of Rights:
[_____________________________________________________________] _________ __________
[ Pain Patients Bill of Rights _________________] **enact into law**
**advocate in brochure***
~~Lest we lose sight that it is the patient's body and life we are treating here and whereas with all the talk about cost of medical care and the rest, we think it is essential to state and re-state the rights we have kept and do not belong to anyone else~~
We, the patients, have:
1] The right to have our report of pain taken seriously and to be treated with
dignity and respect by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare
2] The right to be referred to and have my pain thoroughly assessed by a qualified prescribing practitioner or registered pain management clinic (PMC) and promptly treated.
3] The right to treatment shall be based on medical necessity in the discretion (in consultation with the patient) of the prescribing practitioner or PMC which order any licensed community pharmacies to dispense same without equivocation unless probable cause exists by law enforcement that a violation of law is occurring. This shall not preclude communication between prescribing physician and pharmacy in the event of an ambiguity on the prescription to be dispensed, dosage and other order on the prescribing document.
4] The right to have a supply of prescription medication fully sufficient to complete dispensing within [72??] hours after presentation of the order to the dispensing pharmacy. The patient shall be given written compliance by time-stamp when presented.[??using available data bases to govern reasonableness of the required dispensing interval??.].
5] The right of access and egress without interruption by the DEA or local law enforcement officers to and from pharmacies except on probable cause that a violation of the law is occurring.
6] The right to be informed by your doctor about what may be causing my pain,
possible treatments, and the benefits, risks and costs of each.
7] The right to participate actively in decisions about how to manage my pain as a 49% partner with your doctor.
8] The right to have your pain reassessed regularly and your treatment adjusted if my pain has not been eased.
9] The right to be referred to a pain specialist or a PMC if your my persists.
10] The right to get clear and prompt answers to my questions, take time to make decisions, and refuse a particular type of treatment if I so choose.
We have a fantastic group of folks working quietly behind the scenes for us. Art is just one of them.
I wish to thank them for all of the hard work they are doing while still trying to do those everyday things that make up our lives, and doing so with broken bodies as well.
Please remember to comment here or on the pages or to me personally if you wish to do so anonymously.
David B. Willoughby
*Hugs to All*