Thomas Kline, MD, PhD, refers to 22 of his patients as “pain refugees.”
Stable for years taking opioid therapy for chronic pain, these patients sought out Kline—well-known for his advocacy on their behalf on Twitter and elsewhere—because their physicians had abruptly cut their dose or refused to refill a prescription.
They had appealed to multiple physicians for treatment with no success before contacting him, said Kline, a Raleigh, North Carolina, physician who practices internal and geriatric medicine. “They give me lists of the doctors, which I would like to make public someday,” he said. “They’re in this horrible withdrawal, plus pain.”
Rubin R. Limits on Opioid Prescribing Leave Patients With Chronic Pain Vulnerable. JAMA. Published online April 29, 2019321(21):2059–2062. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.5188
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