NORMAN J CLEMENT RPH., DDS, NORMAN L.CLEMENT PHARM-TECH, MALACHI F. MACKANDAL PHARMD, BELINDA BROWN-PARKER, IN THE SPIRIT OF JOSEPH SOLVO ESQ., IN THE SPIRIT OF REV. C.T. VIVIAN, JELANI ZIMBABWE CLEMENT, BS., MBA., IN THE SPIRIT OF THE HON. PATRICE LUMUMBA, IN THE SPIRIT OF ERLIN CLEMENT SR., WALTER F. WRENN III., MD., WILLIE GUINYARD BS., JOSEPH WEBSTER MD., MBA, BEVERLY C. PRINCE MD., FACS., RICHARD KAUL, MD., LEROY BAYLOR, JAY K. JOSHI MD., MBA, ADRIENNE EDMUNDSON, ESTER HYATT PH.D., WALTER L. SMITH BS., IN THE SPIRIT OF BRAHM FISHER ESQ., MICHELE ALEXANDER MD., CUDJOE WILDING BS, MARTIN NDJOU, BS., RPH., IN THE SPIRIT OF DEBRA LYNN SHEPHERD, BERES E. MUSCHETT, STRATEGIC ADVISORS
BY RICHARD LAWHERN PH.D.
FROM THE LAWHERN FILES
Dear Mr. Yeu
It is letters like yours that keep me up at night. I receive them every week from people who are being denied safe and effective treatment for agonizing pain, who are at their wits end. You have a lot of company among US Vets and even more among those who never served as you and I did.
Much of your difficulty with the Veterans Administration system stems from a single fatally flawed document locked into law by Section 131 of the “Veterans Administration Mission Act” of 2018. The following news article by Jeffrey Singer MD and Josh Bloom Ph.D. on the so-called (and grossly misnamed) “Opioid Safety Initiative” is remarkably timely in your concerns:
I am taking the liberty of sharing your unedited correspondence (below) with the following organizations and individuals, by CC and BCC distribution. Several CC addressees have played central roles in damaging your life by bloody-minded ignorance of science, unjustified anti-opioid bias, financial and professional self-interest prevailing over any concern for your welfare or that of millions of other citizens.
I am also sending along two attached documents that may eventually exert some influence on changes for the better.
One is draft legislation to force the withdrawal of the CDC guidelines on opioids, the VA “Opioid Safety Initiative” and all policy derivatives therefrom.
The second is a pre-publication draft of a paper that Stephen E Nadeau MD and I are hoping to have published, which points the way for correcting course on the content of draft revisions of the 2016 CDC opioid guidelines, as briefed to the NCIPC Board of Scientific Advisors on July 16th, 2021. Given the enormous damage that CDC has already done to doctors in pain medicine, it seems likely that these doctors won’t come back into practice unless they are protected explicitly from persecution by DEA and others; these recommended guidelines may aid in that objective.
For the US Government staffers reading this letter, a strongly felt request: Please print out this letter and attachments, and put them on your boss’s desk this week. Demand that they be read. Advocate for action to address the damage that CDC and DEA have done to millions of US citizens. And if your boss won’t engage with this issue, then QUIT! If you value your personal ethics, then take them somewhere else, because you’re working for a corrupt organization.
Inside the System: a Chronic Pain Doctor Speaks
For medical professionals, a second strongly felt request: grow a backbone and stand up publicly in opposition to State Medical Boards and law enforcement authorities, on behalf of your patients. Call your legislators and tell them that you want their sponsorship on a bill derived from the attachments to this letter. Don’t waste time looking for a convenient email address because government agencies are making it impossible for you to contact anyone of importance by closing all email gateways. Use your phone.
Kickass and take names. Not once. Every Freakin’ Week!
Richard A “Red” Lawhern PhD
From: Gumiho Yeu <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 2, 2021 3:33 PM
Subject: Help Thanks for listening Red I am a USMC vet and I’m in a battle with the va.
I used my pvt healthcare and had a civilian doctor treat my chronic pain when we started my MS Contin was 90 mg he asked me to bring it down to 15 mg because of the trouble starting to brew in 2010 he left my breakthrough meds at 15mg 3 or 4 times a day ( it’s been too long and I have forgotten the full prescription) being I also was recovering from a head injury that got me put in the hospital and in s coma for 3 days. My pvt doctor got in trouble with the DEA and was forced to retire he had no choice to do a thing for his patients.
I went to the VA pill bottles in hand and asked for help just before Veterans Day one of 2 days I visit my grandfather’s grave thank him for what he did during WW2 and what he did for me but I couldn’t make it snd it really hurt me I blew my top when the va doctor called and he agreed to help me he kept my MS Contin the same and cut my oxycodone to 6 pills a day I took it and have not done a thing wrong since then .
My pain management pharmacist called me this past July and I said the meds is not working it’s best I think it’s tolerance and got this whole song and dance in a new medicine that works great when she said butrans I knew it was buprenorphine and though I did not understand it 100% I had heard it makes anesthesia hard ( my family has heart disease and my dad had 2 open heart surgery’s and I fear my chest being cracked and me feeling it all ) but I agreed to take it I used the transdermal patch for a month and it did not help the glue gave me itching that got worse with medical tape trying to hold the patch on and I started getting headaches , total insomnia and cold sweats as if I ran 3 miles and just sat down even though I was on my bed the whole day my dog lost his walks and my life became hell the pharmacist moved me to Belbuca and yes the itching issue ended but the insomnia is still bugging me the headaches get worse each time we go up and I still sweat like a pig while laying and watching tv.
My pain management nurse came back finely after her vacation and we spoke she wanted to get me to start doing all the things that helped other veterans I told her to wait a minute here let’s fix my meds.. my thinking being if I can’t get out of bed what’s the use of telling me to go exercise but she wouldn’t listen to my concerns and tried to treat me like an assembly line .. do the same things to me she did with others and she has another star to put in her hat to get her I got xx amount of veterans off of dangerous opiates ( I know buprenorphine is one but there has to be something we are not told for the DEA to schedule all opiates 2 but this is a 3 ) We got into it I told her no more buprenorphine it’s garbage medicine it’s not helping me. She then said I got 1 of 3 choices I can 1 stay where I am. 2 accept 6 oxycodone 5mg pills or 3 take 2 10 mg time-release oxycodone pills and 2 5mg pills
I’m not looking to get high I want to have a life I want to go out and shoot in my backyard and take my pup for a walk and go fishing when I want as well as do things like repair my car so I can go out and do things and not be on the verge of suicide when I’m done and be happy I finished it
I don’t know how to talk to people Red my people skills are gone I retired from my job working on boat motors in my shop I closed it and been home since my head injury so any help will be appreciated and I will obey your words like a drill instructors words in Marine recruit training
Thanks for your time Red
for Dr Rochelle Walensky, Director Office of the Chief of Staff, CDC Sherri Berger, for senior staff, CDC
Administrative Staff, Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, BSC co-Chair and Chair, BSC Opioid Workgroup Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services
Other organizations might be considered your “friends”
Nora Volkow, MD, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse American Medical Association Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force Media Office, American Medical Association
for Gerald E Harmon, President, American Medical Association
American Association of Family Physicians
Please forward to senior staff and affiliated organizations
Human Rights Watch, Chicago US
Josh Bloom, PhD, Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, American Council on Science and Health Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor, Reason Magazine
Pat Anson, Editor, Pain News Network
Patrick Skerrett, Editorial Page Editor, STAT News Barby Engle, President, International Pain Foundation Barry Ulmer, Executive Director, Chronic Pain Association of Canada Lynn Webster, MD, Editor and Author “The Painful Truth” Nicole Hemmenway, CEO US Pain Foundation Roy Green, (Roy Green Show, syndicated across Canada) Kate Nicholson, National Pain Advocacy Center George Knapp, Peabody Award-winning radio journalist
Human Rights Watch, Chicago US Office
FOR NOW, YOU ARE WITHIN