Opioid lawsuit settlements have overlooked those in chronic pain

Aug. 30, 2021

The University of Michigan Health Lab reported on the opioid crisis lawsuit payout plans, citing the more than 500,000 overdose deaths in the past couple decades. While states and even the federal government filed litigation against drug manufacturers, pharmacies and suppliers to address the harm caused by overprescribing and inappropriate opioid prescribing practices, and billions of dollars of funds have been awarded, health groups have been proposing what to do with the funds.

The white elephant in the room is the people in chronic pain who continue to need pain management.  Conditions like arthritis and nerve pain persist each day, and while approaches like yoga, acupuncture, and biofeedback can be combined with injections and electrical stimulation, the right combination depends upon each patient.

The multidisciplinary approach to pain management dried up due to financial pressures with the rise of managed care.  Insurance companies have carved out or limited things like physical therapy, leading to worsening physical conditions. Alternative treatments and therapies are being explored but may not be covered by insurance.

Despite efforts, there is a gap in pain research and treatment.

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