Minnesota to start database of people taking painkillers

posted at 3:35 pm on January 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Good news here in Minnesota — the state will now know when any of us get prescribed Vicodin, Oxycontin, or any other potentially addictive medicines.  Minnesota will require pharmacies to report every customer who fills such a prescription to the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program, starting next Monday.  The state says this will allow doctors to know whether their patients are abusing prescription medication by seeing more than one doctor, but they won’t be the only ones:

Starting this week, Minnesota residents who fill prescriptions for addictive drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin are going into a new state database.

The aim is to stop drug abusers and dealers from shopping around for prescriptions.

Pharmacies were required to start reporting to the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program on Monday. By March, doctors, dentists and pharmacists can use the system to identify patients who get too many habit-forming medicines.

So the state will have a list of everyone who has prescribed painkillers.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, just practically speaking, it’s liable to result in a lot of false positives, as many people share the same or similar names.  What happens when Carl Johnson, needs Vicodin for a back injury and gets confused with another Carl Johnson at the same pharmacy, or a Karl Johnson, or a Carl Johnsen?  People with legitimate need of painkillers who have never abused will have to fight through red tape to get the medicine they need.

Of course, there are other concerns as well.  The control of such substances belongs to pharmacies, but the prescription process is a private transaction.  Why should the state involve itself in that transaction at all?  Some people will abuse, but they comprise a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of people who take medicine responsibly.  This penalizes everyone, and invades the privacy of law-abiding citizens, in a nanny-state attempt to protect a few people from themselves.

It’s not hard to imagine where this might lead.  After all, when the state has access to personal information, it rarely misses a chance to use it.  The next time a traffic fatality occurs because the driver was on pain meds — legally or not — demand will arise for the state to do something to prevent the next death.  It won’t take much to marry this database to the DMV, and for the state to start asking questions about licensing people on pain meds.  In fact, some here in Minnesota may see that as a feature instead of a bug.

People have a responsibility to themselves for their actions regarding pain medications.  A free people do not need the state to start keeping Big Brother prescription databases on their citizens, invading the most personal aspects of our lives while telling us it’s for our own good.  A free person can make that determination on their own.  This is a bad idea — and a taste of what to expect when government gains more and more control over the health care system.

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There’s already a constitutionally sound precedent of the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by federal employees. If First Amendment rights of public employees can be restricted, I don’t see why they can’t be disenfranchised…
rokemronnie on January 6, 2010 at 5:28 PM

That’s quite the leap there! Suddenly you’ve dived into fatuous arguments about the First Amendment rights of Federal employees. I don’t mean to embarass you but policemen, firemen, and teachers – to name a few – are not “federal employees”. At least not yet.

But as I’m as I’m not a lawyer, just a citizen with common sense, I suggest you take it up with Mark Levin, Statist expert extraordinaire. Just for starters, I doubt he’d lump “public employees” who are employed by the states into the category of “federal employees’ – particularly since he is, hang on for this, a federalist.

Buy Danish on January 6, 2010 at 7:25 PM

rokemronnie on January 6, 2010 at 5:28 PM

One more thing (shame on me for not mentioning this the first time) – The Hatch Act refers to people who are acting in the capacity of employees of the government. It says nothing about what they are permitted to do as private citizens. They are free to support candidates of their choosing – as long as it is not done while they’re at work or in a government office on the taxpayer’s dime.

Buy Danish on January 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Consider what happened to Joe the Plumber when he spoke to Obama and how the state went after his information for no real apparent reason.

Now consider what kind of power this puts into the hands of politically motivated people who will dig through any dumpster to bury a political opponent.

It’s not rocket science. This is a VERY bad idea.

One Angry Christian on January 6, 2010 at 8:00 PM

I am old enough to remember when we were…Free…*sigh*

ronsfi on January 6, 2010 at 8:30 PM

You can speak to the police in America anytime you want. Do you thank them for protecting your community, also? Or do you just criticize them?


In a society with free speech it’s my choice to speak or not speak and my choice about what I will say or won’t say. I’m under no obligation to kiss the asses of well paid government employees who have jobs that are less dangerous than garbagemen.

I’ve thanked policemen for their service. I don’t, however, thank them for protecting my community because police, in fact, do very little to prevent crime or protect individuals. Police typically respond long after someone has been victimized. PDs have gone to court to establish the fact that they are not legally obligated to protect you.

rokemronnie on January 6, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Not as many as it takes for your mom’s dominatrix suit.


So you’re saying that you’re his mom’s bottom? Well, it’s not uncommon for people who like to push others around by day to get off on being submissive by night.

rokemronnie on January 6, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Won’t this be against hippa privacy law? Who is privy to this info. Will it be provided to future employers. Where does this invasion of privacy end.

Kissmygrits on January 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM

and of course people who take these drugs shouldn’t have acces to guns…this is all about taking freedom away…

right4life on January 6, 2010 at 10:27 PM

1. Al Franken.
2. Franken.
3. Franken.
4. Jesse Ventura.
5. Franken.
6. Jesse Ventura.

dthorny on January 6, 2010 at 10:51 PM

I’ve already dealt with this sort of thing with my wife — we got a new pharmacist at the local Walgreens who didn’t like the combination of medicines my wife takes for the chronic degenerative medical issues that have left her with chronic pain and limited mobility. When the dentist prescribed a different pain medication for an abscessed tooth, this recent pharmacy school grad decided, based upon her ten whole days of professional experience, that my wife was either doctor -shopping or being over-prescribed by three respected medical practitioners with a mere seventy-five years of professional experience (and 25 years of teaching experience) between them.

First came the letter from the state to the three doctors involved inquiring about the prescriptions my wife was getting and “requesting” an explanation for them. Then came the doctors adjusting the prescriptions to meet the “suggested” dosages from a bureaucrat in Austin, who not never met my wife was not a doctor but who did have the power to recommend sanctions against the doctors if they did not comply. The result was a decrease in my wife’s mobility and her quality of life due to the increase in pain, but at least the pharmacist and the investigator were happy with the outcome!

Now just imagine that scenario repeated on a grander scale when all someone in a state office building can do a search of every citizen’s medical records without anyone even bothering to make a report expressing concern. It won’t just be one disabled lady — it will be any number of folks who just happen to pop up on the report.

And that doesn’t even get into the question of what will happen when some federal bureaucrat can run a nationwide search once we are all subject to mandatory ObamaCare!

RhymesWithRight on January 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM

As someone who unfortunately has to take pain medication, I can tell you that people who have no intention and/or no history of drug abuse often get treated like suspects or addicts as it is. More than a few doctors have refused to up my pain medications, despite the fact that I am still in a lot of pain and my life is severely affected by my pain. I could tell you stories, the most recent happening this past week to me, of doctors and how they treat pain patients. More often than not, and probably due to the pressure put on them by the DEA, the doctors treat their patients as though they have already become an addict or something, or that they’re an inch away from it.

I can imagine ways this might help doctors–knowing for certain that a patient is not going around to other doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions, they might be more trusting–but I see a larger chance of abuse or misuse of the new “system” than help. A larger help would be for people to have to take personal responsibility for their actions (gasp, right?) and for doctors to not be held responsible for the actions of their patients. The DEA needs to target the right people.

JediArashi on January 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM

First came the letter from the state to the three doctors involved inquiring about the prescriptions my wife was getting and “requesting” an explanation for them. Then came the doctors adjusting the prescriptions to meet the “suggested” dosages from a bureaucrat in Austin, who not never met my wife was not a doctor but who did have the power to recommend sanctions against the doctors if they did not comply. The result was a decrease in my wife’s mobility and her quality of life due to the increase in pain, but at least the pharmacist and the investigator were happy with the outcome!
RhymesWithRight on January 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Sad to know I’m not the only one with those problems. I had been switched at one point, for a short period, to a stronger medication, and my quality of life and mobility were much, much better, and I was looking at actually exercising to continue to improve and, hopefully, not hurt so much, but thanks to another doctor being “firm” on not using certain drugs (and instead preferring treatments via off-label uses of drugs and other such things), I’m now left in a lot of pain and not able to do nearly what I could while on the other medication.

Sorry to hear your wife is having so much trouble. I can only know from what my own experience has been like what she may be going through, but I also know that it is different for individuals…and this program isn’t going to help when doctors are already leery about medications like these being in use.

JediArashi on January 6, 2010 at 10:58 PM

Prohibition II?

Just say “NO” to more government intrusion in our private lives. Leave me alone!!!

TN Mom on January 6, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Ok, if you live in a Minnesota town close to the state borders, just go to a pharmacist out of state. Or on the northern border, get them from Canada.

Or buy your precriptions mail order from an out of state vendor.

And when you do, make sure your local pharmacists know about it so they can B&M to their moron state reps and senators.

As one local radio show states: “Minnesota – the state where nothing is allowed”

Dr. Bob on January 6, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Too Easy…….
Next can we start keeping a D-Base on Public Officals who are playing B-Ball, Golf, and NOT doing their job?

BigMike252 on January 6, 2010 at 11:54 PM

If the state is involved it will screw it up no matter how clear the name or address. Also, is this not a HIPPA violation? Are the state employees going to have to take HIPPA training?

americangirl on January 6, 2010 at 3:45 PM

So sorry to nitpick, but really!!!!

People if you are gonna “claim it”, get it right!!! It is HIPAA!!!

Health Insurance and Portability Accountability Act!!!

Google it!!!!!

ladyingray on January 6, 2010 at 11:55 PM

Won’t this be against hippa privacy law?

Kissmygrits on January 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM

No. The dirty little secret of HIPAA is that there are loopholes designed to let the gov’t basically arrogate any privacy-invading measure it desires, while preventing you and me from doing the same. Most or all of the teeth in the law are directed at ordinary citizens, and some at private companies — but not at government.

(It prevents gov’t from performing unauthorized activities but it doesn’t necessarily prevent a given activity from becoming ‘authorized’, for the flimsiest of reasons.)

Who is privy to this info. Will it be provided to future employers?

You never know. The raw data would probably not be available without a further regulatory change. Of course you don’t need to release the raw data to have a problem here. The gov’t could hold onto the information and set up a yay/nay approvals process that employers access, with less-than-satisfactory granularity; and it’s not hard to imagine it might tag ordinary citizens as criminals or ‘undesirables’.

(Disclaimer: These are my own rank opinions and come from my tendentious reading of HIPAA law, and from taking HIPAA training, not from any authoritative source.)

RD on January 7, 2010 at 12:12 AM


Remember when the Big grocery chain stores
started to track our purchases using that new
saver card..?

Remember how these same stores promised
PROMISED not to use the information
against you in a court of law
or release it to the public..

ell that lasted exactly 1 year before
a man (who honestly did slip and fall)
in the isle due to a broken bottle of some
juice sued..

The stores laywers instantly wipped out
his purchases of beer over the last year
and threatened to tell his employer..
and his wife.. and implied publicly
i think he was a raven achoholic..??

He took them on and went public and
only after a huge outcry did the store
back down..

Well I had a few surgeries on my knees
and had to go to the dentist
and ran out of pain pills after that fun exercise
So i could very easily see
the democrat senators in my state
getting thier hot little hands
on that data base

Just wait until obama and pelosi
open their re-educatiuon camp
disarm all of you liberal morons
who voted for them..

and just you wait until
obama and pelosi
decide your too old for surgery
so you must die
So they perscribe you pain pills
and then


veteranoutrage on January 7, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Why did I read this before going to bed because it really angers me.

When I was only 32, I needed a life-threatening surgery, a pancreatectomy because of a birth defect causing a strictured bile duct. Though my life was saved despite the odds my doctor gave me of 20% of surviving, I have constant back pain because of it, a tremendous amount of nerve, muscle and tissue damage from the ten hour surgery. I have to take a mild pain prescription medication and I HATE it, but it’s either take it, or be in excruitaitng pain every second of every day. HANDS OFF MY HEALTHCARE! It is between me and my doctor, not my goverment!

UGH! ANGRY! I need to watch me some Red Eye to calm me down!

margategop517 on January 7, 2010 at 12:50 AM

Just one more intrusion into our lives, all in the name of preventing abuse.

We have to sign for certain sinus over the counter medications now containing Pseudoephedrine, you know so we won’t start a meth lab or something, you’re allowed only a certain amount in a 7 day period. A woman here in Indiana just a few months ago, purchased the OTC for her husband, a few days later purchased from another pharmacy, the OTC med for her daughter. A few days later a warrant was issued for her because she had exceeded the purchase limit in a 7 day period. She’s an older lady who now has a record because of this. The DA said “the law is clear, ignorance of this law is no excuse” (because she said she didn’t realize there was a limit) 2 small boxes of sinus medication cause you to break the law – so when colds and sinus infections run thru your family, if you’re not the first person to get sick, you’ll have to suffer a few days until you’re allowed to buy more medication.

ladyhawke53 on January 7, 2010 at 5:34 AM

Get the Government out of the drug business, legal AND illegal. The People are smart enough to figure it out for themselves. I don’t need a nanny Thank you…Everytime the government and DEA step in to “help”, the problems get worse and people suffer. Who the hell is the government telling me how much medicine I need, when I need it and what for? Drug laws are modern slavery. Having a house confiscated for a guy growing one Marijuana plant is simply abuse and gives authorities carte blanche to destroy someone’s life. The Drug War and government interference in private medicine is not what the Founding Fathers intended with a Federalist system….

adamsmith on January 7, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Sorry, have to disagree with a whole bunch of these posts. I have been a patient of a pain specialist for over a decade. I get treated like a street junkie about half the time. If I have to go to the ER or doc-in-a-box for UrgentCare, most treat me like I am a heroin freebaser. Try telling someone you are on methadone and see how great a reception you get. As for doctor shopping, yeah, good luck with that. Now pharmacies are connected to each other’s networks, at least the ones like CVS, Walgreens, WalMart, etc. You fill something at one of them, and attempt to take another to a different pharma, they report you to your doctor. I made the mistake of accidentally filling some pain meds right after a surgery along with an antibiotic at a pharm I dont usually go to, and my pain doctor called me about 2 hrs later and said that they would be dropping me as a patient. Next step? Legal. I was lucky that I managed to explain it was an accident, but I have to be random drug tested ALL THE FREAKING TIME, and I am not taking anything like that now.

di butler on January 7, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Well, isn’t this just frigging great? Red tape? You’re kidding, right? The hoops chronic pain patients go through NOW are ridiculous. This just makes it even better. It’s really amazing. If you’re a celeb, you can call a doc and have them fill you up with whatever crap you desire.

But if you’re a chronic pain patient, you have to drag yourself, miserable or not, barely able to move or not, to the doctor on a monthly basis so he can make sure (I kind of agree with this part of it because it DOES keep people on the straight and narrow) you’re not selling your meds or having other issues. Then, you get to go to the pharmacy and HOPE they even have the medication you need and don’t decide to do their OWN little rationing deal on you. When you take pain medication on a regular basis, everybody and their brother looks at you as if you’re already Anna Nicole or Michael Jackson, whether you’re honest or not. It’s humiliating and embarrassing and if a person doesn’t NEED the medication, I doubt seriously they’re going to be willing to deal with it.

Of course there are always those who have to abuse things. I see them quite often, bouncing in and out of my doctor’s office, mad because he won’t give them any more medication. Some of them have been on disability and the pain med train for decades. When I finally had to give up and begin taking this medication, I wasn’t thrilled and I promised myself I would follow the rules as best I could because I didn’t want to be like them. I certainly do not believe I belong on a damned list for everyone to peruse at a whim because, frankly, it is NONE of their business.

This is just another little gift from the government to ensure they can stick their noses into the business of the people.

Mad Mad Monica on January 7, 2010 at 9:39 AM

The socialist stasis of Minnesota and Michigan continue to intrude into the public lives in an effort to control them.

Beside collecting the data, what is not clear is what will be done with the information.

Also, once the dat is collected, and analysis would probably show that there is a large number of persons using pain killers to lessen the pain the governments Minnesota and Michigan inflict on the populace.

MSGTAS on January 7, 2010 at 9:39 AM

False positives (ie people who aren’t abusers getting tagged as “abusers” due to common names) are likely problems. Another unintended consequence of this is that it may lead to more identity theft–the criminals will end run around the database by going from doc A, B, C as John Smith, John Brown and John Anderson. Meanwhile, those guys that have their identity stolen that actually “need” pain medication, get the red tape when they need meds. Big problems in need of smart solutions.

ted c on January 7, 2010 at 9:55 AM

See? Government won’t use your medical data in some irresponsible way…

hawksruleva on January 7, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Look for that database to get hacked, like Virginia’s did

hawksruleva on January 7, 2010 at 12:02 PM

As someone who worked in medicine and whose GF is an MD, you don’t need a database. It only takes doctors a few minutes to make a couple calls and they will know that the patient is abusing painkillers.

Even better is the fact that there is no red tape…

Tim Burton on January 7, 2010 at 12:13 PM

It’s not hard to imagine where this might lead. After all, when the state has access to personal information, it rarely misses a chance to use it.

Yep, universal voter bill, the state has a list, gives it to the feds, automatically registered the states drug users to vote!
Of course after they sent Freakin Franken to the US Senate I’m pretty sure at least 1/2 the state is on drugs anyway.

dhunter on January 7, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Hee hee – tough luck drug warriors, that medicine don’t taste so sweet when you’re lookin’ at the spoon!

abobo on January 7, 2010 at 1:36 PM

You guys! I love you all so much! I thought I was so alone in feeling like a common criminal and dirtbag because I have to take pain meds and reading that some of you with the same experience feel the same way has been quite a comfort. Given the choice I wish I never would have had to have my pancreatectomy, but since death was the only other alternative, I deal with the humiliation that comes with filling my prescription pain meds, even though they are not heavy duty opioids. I do the mail order and there is ALWAYS a problem with the refill and everyone at the mail order pharmacy, even the staff at my Pain Management doctor’s office (my doctor is the only one who doesn’t) treats me like I am some drug addict. I feel like lifting up my shirt (no, not that far, get your mind out of the gutter) and showing everyone the 11″ shark bite-looking incision I have in my abdomen and having people imagine having every abdominal organ ripped out of your body to get to your pancreas to cut out 1/4th of it, then reconstruct it and put everything back in and tell me you are not in the same pain I am for the rest of your life! I want to be the energizer bunny that I was pre-pancreatectomy but my life is forever changed. Regardless, I thank God every day because He let me live when I wasn’t supposed to, doctor still says he can’t believe I got the miracle that I did! My friend’s dad had the same surgery (by the same surgeon because it is so rare, not many perform it) over the summer and he died right before Christmas from complications.

Since I don’t want anything from the government, I refused the permanent SSD because I was only 32, but that still doesn’t stop people from thinking I am some kind of lowlife addict and it angers me to no end.

margategop517 on January 7, 2010 at 4:51 PM

I guess HA finally stopped eating (moderating?) my comments. I’m a new user, so it’s not surprising. Ah, well.

Margategop 517, you are by no means alone. As I told my mom today, it is both a saddening and comforting thought to not be alone in this. It’s sad to know that other people have to deal with this situation, but it’s comforting to know that you’re not being treated this way because of something you did yourself. It’s all on the OTHER people, not you.

Many people who are legitimately in need of pain medication are being ostracized and looked upon as nothing more than druggies or addicts, and in this day and age, just asking for pain medication of any sort can get you looked at suspiciously, since it is a “drug seeking” behavior. But what person in pain wouldn’t ask for medication that could relieve it, knowing that it exists? (Oh, and God forbid you ask for a specific medicine that has worked in the past for you…that’s even MORE suspicious. Ugh.)

The worst part is that they’re not sure in my case why I’m even in pain in the first place. I’m only 23, and I have had health issues in the past (which I won’t go into), so I can’t even point to a specific injury or inciting event. The sad thing is, sometimes the body just goes haywire without any event to make it do so. Fibromyalgia comes to mind (which seems to sort of run in my family–my grandmother, my mom, and I all suffer with it to varying degrees).

In any case…hugs, love, and prayers go out to all of those that have to deal with this stupid stuff.

(Just a clarification: I’m not saying that everyone out there asking for drugs has a perfectly good reason to do so. There are, unfortunately, those that would and do abuse the medications, which makes it all the more difficult for the honest people to get the medication when necessary. Like I said before, the DEA and authorities should go after the individual patients who actually are abusing or misusing the medications, not the doctors who had a legitimate reason for prescribing them. Personal responsibility, much?)

JediArashi on January 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM

I have not had a chance to read all the posts
Pain Management is a center point of my clinical day.
I see the many faces of pain. I also see the dark side too.
This document is just a small glimpse of how we are doing.
Pain is a central core of why most people seek medical care.
Whether its acute pain or chronic pain. The most challenging cases are new acute pain on top of chronic pain.
I think you might want to look over the two large documents on this site. There is a map on page 11 that give each state a scorecard. This link is to one of the documents.
Just back the link one level to see the entire site.
Look at some of the determining factors

Table 3: Criteria Used to Evaluate State Pain Policies
Positive provisions: Criteria that identify policy language with the potential to enhance pain management
1. Controlled substances are recognized as necessary for the public health
2 Pain management is recognized as part of general medical practice
3. Medical use of opioids is recognized as legitimate professional practice
4. Pain management is encouraged
5. Practitioners’ concerns about regulatory scrutiny are addressed
6. Prescription amount alone is recognized as insufficient to determine the legitimacy of prescribing
7. Physical dependence or analgesic tolerance are not confused with “addiction”
8. Other provisions that may enhance pain management
Category A: Issues related to healthcare professionals
Category B: Issues related to patients
Category C: Regulatory or policy issues
Negative provisions: Criteria that identify policy language with the potential to impede pain management
9. Opioids are considered a treatment of last resort
10. Medical use of opioids is implied to be outside legitimate professional practice
11. Physical dependence or analgesic tolerance are confused with “addiction”
12. Medical decisions are restricted
Category A: Restrictions based on patient characteristics
Category B: Mandated consultation
Category C: Restrictions regarding quantity prescribed or dispensed
Category D: Undue prescription limitations
13. Length of prescription validity is restricted
14. Practitioners are subject to additional prescription requirements
15. Other provisions that may impede pain management
16. Provisions that are ambiguous
Category A: Arbitrary standards for legitimate prescribing
Category B: Unclear intent leading to possible misinterpretation
Category C: Conflicting (or inconsistent) policies or provisions

scruplesrx on January 7, 2010 at 10:23 PM

This document is also interesting but old info.
2008 Pain and Policy Report Card and Evaluation Guide
Grade changes between 2007 and 2008
Looks like Minnesota improved their grade.
Changed from B to B+ by adopting the requirements to evaluate whether requiring a valid photo ID when
purchasing a Schedule II controlled substance and the electronic prescription monitoring program become
barriers to medication access, and by adopting a medical board policy based on the Federation of State
Medical Board’s “Model Policy for the Use of Controlled Substances for the Treatment of Pain.”

scruplesrx on January 7, 2010 at 10:28 PM

JediArashi on January 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Welcome to the site and all sympathies for the situations face by you and the last poster. I didn’t mean to try close out the thread with a taunt like that if I knew people were sharing such deep stuff, but I still gotta ask what exactly makes my pain and method of relief illegitimate? Government diktat?

abobo on January 7, 2010 at 10:29 PM

JediArashi on January 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Thank you Jedi! You are in my prayers and I am so sorry that you are only 23 and going through this. God Bless you.

margategop517 on January 7, 2010 at 10:32 PM

According to the site that scruplesrx linked, Wisconsin (where I live) has a very good grade, which is confusing. Then again, specific hospital groups have their own systems regardless of what the state law is, making it difficult for those of us caught in the middle. I’ve been in the same system for the whole time of this ordeal, so that could be it. My age doesn’t help any (and I’ve had them tell me so that my age is a factor in their decision).

Abobo, margategop517, thanks for the welcome and the sympathies. I’ve actually been a HotAir reader for some time now, but I only recently registered to post.

Abobo, I’m not sure what your method of pain relief is, or what your situation is, so I can’t entirely say. Right now, I guess that yes, it is because whatever you’re doing is illegal by laws right now (I’m assuming illegal, with the illegitimate comment?). My argument right now is that already legal means of pain relief shouldn’t be treated as though it is illegal or immoral to take or be in possession of.

Margategop517, thanks for the prayers. Right now, they’re looking at something like RSD/CRPS, but none of the nerve pain medicines have worked at all for me, and at the moment, the person I’m seeing is recommending I try a drug that is usually used for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s (can’t remember which), but it’s an off-label use, so more than likely insurance won’t cover it, and it isn’t guaranteed to work anyway. I’m still not even sure they have the probable diagnosis right!

JediArashi on January 8, 2010 at 12:08 AM

On a side note: I wish I could complain about the treatment I’ve received without having to hide behind a computer screen, but I fear that it would only leave me without any treatment whatsoever and not fix the problem anyway. Ah, life, huh?

JediArashi on January 8, 2010 at 12:09 AM

It sounds like the medication your referring to is probably Memantine (Namenda). It’s a NMDA receptor antagonist with FDA indication for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Other NMDA antagonists have been studied for RSD, so it has opened the door for looking at that med for RSD.
Wisconsin was the first state to develop a “pain initiative”
This is the national RSD site. Place you probably have been to.
Other sites
specialities seen? neurologist or rheumatologist?

scruplesrx on January 8, 2010 at 12:42 AM

The med your describing for Alzheimer’s Disease is probably Memantine (Namenda) It is a NMDA receptor antagonist. Other NMDA antagonists have been studied for RSD and similar neuropathic pain with some success so this new med is being closely looked at with multiple studies.

scruplesrx on January 8, 2010 at 12:49 AM

Wisconsin was the first state to have a “pain initiative” and now most states have one.
Im sure you have already bookmarked multiple RSD sites.
Be sure and look for the HON code at the bottom of the website.

scruplesrx on January 8, 2010 at 12:55 AM

Great to hear it from a second medical professional, then. I’m hoping against all hope that it will work/be covered, and the doctor did say she’d fill out whatever she could to help. She’s just a bit “weird” when it comes to traditional pain killers…not that I don’t mind alternatives, it’d just be nice to not be in so much pain in the mean time until something else DOES work. I’m glad to hear that the med is on its way to being approved, if it shows to be beneficial in the process. The only reason the insurance wouldn’t pay for it is because it is an off-label use. Otherwise it would be covered.

Thanks for the help! It is difficult to tell more often than not when sites are reliable on health research, so anything that can help me verify those things would be wonderful. I’m glad we happened to meet on here…this information will definitely be helpful.

JediArashi on January 8, 2010 at 1:16 AM

I’ve tried a lot of those things with little success, but at least I know now that she’s on the right track and not off-base with her treatment methodology. I’ve thought about desensitization therapy before, but admittedly, the idea of it frightens me a little. I appreciate the effort you’re making on my behalf. =)

JediArashi on January 8, 2010 at 1:57 AM