Call to Action on FDA Opioid Prescribing

Created by and for people with chronic pain, the NFMCPA believes our united voices:

  • educate policy makers and medical professionals;
  • generate supportive attitudes; and
  • change the way we receive health care. 
More than 100 million Americans live with chronic pain illnesses, including 10 million people affected by fibromyalgia.  It is important to our individual recoveries that we, as patients (and our families and loved ones), become empowered and proactive.

Through email alerts, the NFMCPA provides important information for calls to action.  When informed people unite, speak out, and get involved, current and future healthcare issues are resolved.

                                                       TWO ISSUES ARE OF GREAT CONCERN!  

#1  Last week, an FDA panel recommended changes for much stricter hydrocodone product* prescribing by changing them from Schedule III to Schedule II classification of drugs.  No Physician's Assistants nor Nurse Practitioners would be licensed to prescribe these medications, making it difficult for people in chronic pain (especially in rural areas) to receive and fill pain prescriptions.  The change would stop doctors from writing prescriptions for more than one month's supply at a time or calling in new prescriptions without seeing their patients.  

#2  The group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) sent a letter (in July 2012) to the FDA requesting they set regulations and caps on opioid analgesics for chronic non-cancer pain. (Those include all oxycodone medications AND hydrocodone medications if they are changed to Schedule II.)  Click here for full letter

The NFMCPA understands reasonable and necessary safety measures, but we believe the recommendations for severely restricting opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone):

  • to a maximum daily dose--equivalent to 100 milligrams for non-cancer pain; and
  • a maximum duration of 90-days for continuous daily use
are extreme measures.  It concerns us that the patient, the person living with unrelenting pain, will suffer severe consequences from such drastic restrictions.  No alternative treatments are being offered. 

 Last week NPR (formerly National Public Radio) ran a story about inevitable conflicts between the pros and cons of opioid prescribing - read article.  The NFMCPA supports those physicians who want to give the best care possible to people with pain, and they voiced their opinion and concerns. 

                                          Now it is very important that YOU–a chronic pain patient, 

                                  and your loved ones who are also affected by your pain condition-- 

                                                                                   VOICE YOUR OPINION

Tell them of your concerns and personal stories on this matter.  Contact the FDA and the NFMCPA.  The FDA met last week and is scheduled for a second meeting February 4-5.  In order to make knowledgeable decisions, FDA committee members need to hear from people with chronic pain.  In simple terms, just tell them your story and how these restrictions will impact your quality of life.

To contact the FDA and give your comments, click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:!documentDetail;D=FDA-2012-N-1172-0001

 Send a copy of your story to the NFMCPA at

There is no doubt that combining your efforts with the NFMCPA’s advocacy will make a difference.  Thank you for helping to educate people about chronic pain and the importance of your right to receive adequate pain treatment.

Yours in hope,

Jan Favero Chambers 
Founder and President 
National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association 

*Hydrocodone is often compounded with other, non-opioid, compounds--acetaminophen or ibuprofen to potentially provide effective pain relief.  Products such as Hydrococet, Lorcet, Lortab, Mercodinone, Norco,  Norgan, Vicodin, Xodol and Zydone would be restricted..