Here is my second response due to the many responses posted by patients on the article “Michigan Opioid Study Discusses Access to Primary Care Clinics for Patients with Chronic Pain” posted on July 14, 2019 by Ed Coghlan on the National Pain Report website.
Reading more of the comments made me want to add another. If your practitioner refuses to treat your pain, consider filing a formal complaint to their licensing board. Every state is different and you will not know the outcome for months, but there is always the chance that some good will come from it. But bear this in mind; according to the Oregon Medical Board, NO practitioner can be made to prescribe chronic pain medications. In 1999 the Oregon Medical Board was one of the first states in the US to discipline a physician for NOT prescribing enough pain medication to dying patients. Providers, hospitals, medical boards, and other agencies misinterpreted the 2016 CDC Guidelines and made them into “laws” and “mandates.” The guidelines were directed at PCPs only and for starting new patients on long-term opioid therapy, not for chronic pain patients, cancer patients, and palliative care patients. Yet too many have been forcefully tapered off medications by these “guidelines” under those situations. If you or a loved one has cancer or is being treated for palliative care, then you may have a very good complaint to file with the appropriate licensing board. Unfortunately, chronic pain patients will continue to be discriminated against more than likely, because it will be argued that they can do without their medications in preference to something else less “dangerous.” Beware though that many clinics are forcing chronic pain patients to sign forms stating that they are “addicted” to their opioid medications before starting them on Buprenorphine. Once you sign these type of “agreements” you will probably never get opioid medications again, even after surgery or injuries, because of you self-admitted “addiction.” Buprenorphine can be used to treat chronic pain “off-label,” but most of the clinics that prescribe it want it covered by insurance and federal grant monies, so they need you to admit that you are an “addict” to get it covered and make lots of money.