FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gold Canyon, AZ – April 13, 2022
SB1162 will improve access to care for chronic intractable pain patients giving Arizonians living with a chronic intractable condition better access to health care treatment needs.
Senator Nancy Barto introduced SB1162 in January 2022. This new law will give protections for chronic intractable pain patients in Arizona. This amendment to ARS Section 32-3248.01, will improve access to care, give physicians the ability to treat their patients as medically appropriate, and confirm that providers and their state governing boards have oversight on the proper treatment for these patients. Pain patients and medical providers testified for 2.5 hours on the importance of this bill passing in the Senate Health Committee and another hour in the House Health Committee.
The Arizona Amendment to Section 32-3248.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; Relating to Controlled Substances defines chronic intractable pain and gives providers and patients with this health challenge an exemption from ARS Section 32-3248.01 medication prescribing laws that came about after the 2016 CDC guidelines were released. Medical providers, pain patients, and caregivers have supported this needed legislation. Knowing its success will help give medical providers proper authority to provide appropriate and timely care to patients. These patients need reasonable pain care outside of the average patient range with it comes to care with pain medication treatment options. We believe that this act will help patients in need achieve proper care and treatment and lower the number of suicides in the chronic intractable pain community due to the lack of appropriate care that the original law prohibited for each of them.
The program is essential for chronic intractable pain patients and all medical providers in Arizona. More than 150 providers, patients, caregivers, families, and organizations signed on to support this vital legislation. Many organizations, practicing physicians, pain patients, and caregivers have come together to help pass this Arizona Amendment to Section 32-3248.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; Relating to Controlled Substances and stand with the people of Arizona.
Dr. Jeff Singer, a Phoenix surgeon and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said, “Just as it is unwise and dangerous to set in stone with the legal statute the proper dose and amount of insulin to treat diabetes or beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure, it is equally wrong to legislate the treatment of pain. If there is anything these past two years of the pandemic should have taught us, science is a work in progress, with what we know subject to continuous revision, and people are individuals - there is no one-size-fits-all solution to most health problems. Doctors’ opinions may vary on how to treat particular medical issues. Their professional differences should not be a concern of law enforcement.”
“This bill represents the promise of American democracy, a democracy that is of, by, and for the people,” said Barby Ingle BSc Psyc, President of International Pain Foundation and AZ pain patient. “Pain patients depend on access to proper treatment options, and the revisions to Arizona Amendment to Section 32-3248.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; Relating to Controlled Substances will be a tool to help patients get the access they need, strengthen the pain community, and our medical providers, and give our families and our communities a tool we need.”
Lauri Nickel spoke of her complex regional pain syndrome, unusual sensitivity to all kinds of touch, which can develop after injuries.
“For far too long, people with painful illnesses & conditions have been suffering due to poorly executed policies to address drug misuse. This legislation is the 1st step to help correct course and ensure the health and safety of all citizens to receive the individualized care they need without undue barriers and discrimination.”, said Lauren Deluca, Executive Director & Founding President, Chronic Illness Advocacy & Awareness Group, Inc.
Cindy Hock, a pain patient, told lawmakers of a series of problems after a botched hip replacement. That led to various complications, which causes pain throughout the body, and high blood pressure. “My blood pressure can be controlled when my pain is controlled,” she told lawmakers. However, Hock said she has been unable to get the dosages she needs since Arizona adopted the 2018 law.
"Thank God, Senator Barto heard our need for help and for Barby Ingle helping us learn the process. To everyone who emailed & testified - my Chronic Pain Community - there is Hope again for treatment. I was left abandon, but now may find a Doctor again. This is huge”, said Glorena Coffman.
“Though I don’t require opioids today, if I were to have the same botched surgery today, no one would prescribe the pain relief necessary for me to execute the laborious physical therapy that I needed. With this bill being signed into law, I may get the medication when needed. Thank you.” said Angie Goodgame.
In Arizona, we must deliver on the promise of helping the chronic intractable pain community and addition community simultaneously. Accessing proper healthcare should be individualized and made more accessible. When adequate and timely care is not given, we see a more significant burden on taxpayers, individuals, and the State of Arizona. The Arizona Amendment to Section 32-3248.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; Relating to Controlled Substances will help define our rights and improve access to life-sustaining medications for all Arizonans in need and ensure that our state’s government truly represents the people of Arizona so that we may all participate in society more fully.
Learn about the bill overview and process here - https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/76634