Montana has become a wasteland for pain management
By Mark Ibsen, MD
Why would we be sycophants for the Attorney General, who misrepresents the facts for political gain, so he can claim a “victory” in a drug war (against people) that is 50 years old, costing $2 trillion?
AG Fox is featured in the Montana Medical Association bulletin this month, supporting added mandates for physicians and others who provide prescription medications. “Know your Dose” is a program right out of American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, not scientifically based, and holds a prominent ad buy in the bulletin.
The surge in back pain in Montana is directly related to the surge in procedures.
Drs. Bender and Danaher testified under oath in Dr. Christensen’s trial, in order to take out their competition.
Dr. Christensen took on opiate refugees from Missoula Spine, as the plan, now successful, was to eliminate opiates, so as to enable more procedures. Did you know that epidural steroids are NOT approved by FDA? That ESIs can cause adhesive arachnoiditis, and Intractable Pain?
That .01 percent of patients metabolize opiates so rapidly that they require very large doses (similar to diabetics who require huge insulin doses)?
That Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, a group of addiction doctors, claim that opiates for pain are heroin pills, and never should be used, and they claim this without evidence?
There is another side to this whole story that has yet to be told, or is being told by doctors and patients who have been marginalized, and that includes myself. The Board Of Medicine took me out, in coordination with DEA. It worked.
But the DEA, regulators and legislators are practicing medicine without a license, always mindful of: “we cannot tell you what to do, we are not doctors.”
It is well known that the board of medicine deprived me of my due process rights, had “experts” that were found to be lying (not credible) and ignored the findings of their own hearing officer, David Scrimm. The intimidation of doctors in this state has worked. It worked on me.
The consequences, intended or not, are that Montana has been turned into a wasteland for pain management. We have become a Third World state, with people in such misery that they kill themselves.
Let’s have an open debate about the terror that doctors have been feeling. Let’s look at the tribalism and shaming happening around pain and addiction. Let’s interview patients who were taken from their familiar primary care MD, and forced to see a mid level NP or PA, who took them off their stable regimen.
Follow the money.
But remember FEAR: false evidence appearing real.
In a letter to the Statesman Journal, Dr. Darryl George wrote: “I have seen providers misread drug tests and dismiss patients with rapid or no tapers. They fail to do confirmation testing to ensure the office test is accurate. They look for any excuse to fire the patient. Many of these patients will become unable to work, become less functional at home, and personal relationships become strained. Some patients end up divorced or contemplate suicide when their pain is uncontrolled.
The “ugly” happens when federal and state agencies blame the opioid epidemic on providers and patients.”
The facts are coming out. Montana leads the nation in suicides. Pain mismanagement and malfeasance have created a hostile regulatory environment for doctors. I’m a member of The Montana Medical Association. MMA could start standing up for patients who have been abandoned and physicians who try to help them. Of course, the message and messengers were not welcomed. Truth will come out. Where will we be standing when it does?
Mark Ibsen, MD, is the former owner of Urgent Care Plus in Helena.