Cannot treat Chronic Pain in Saskatchewan

I am sending out a call for people to help petition the government for coverage of pain medications in Saskatchewan. This is a letter I sent out through the Sask. Pain Network:

To Sask Pain Network:
It seems impossible to treat chronic pain in Saskatchewan. Many of the useful agents are NOT covered by the drug plan and never will be, because they do not demonstrate good effect as a “stand alone” treatment, and are not reliably responsive in groups that are of diverse causes. ( Ex. treating back pain only once with Botox will not hit all the necessary areas to show benefit and treating back pain with Botox may not help a facet and SI joint problem).
Dr. Theil (gynecologist),and I (separately) applied to the drug plan some years ago for coverage for Botox for pelvic pain. I submitted a report of about 20 pages, but got no response. It also seems clear that now the drug plan is more cash -strapped from covering seniors’ prescriptions. I feel nothing of value will ever be covered. People with chronic pain are generally too poor to handle much in the way of drug costs.
I discussed this with Dr. Murray Opdahl (Saskatoon Pain Clinic) and he is similarly frustrated by lack of access to useful treatments. Individually, we have been ignored. As a group, with knowledge in the area of pain, our voice would be one to be reckoned with. Some agents that have shown benefit in select cases include:
Botox as an adjunct to many problems. (~$400.00/bottle – could use 2+)
Pamidronate for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (aka RSD), and post vertebral fracture ($400.00 x 2-3 for treatment)
Enbrel for radiculitis ( needs TWO shots – not like one one-shot failing remicade study) $250.00 X 2
Lyrica for – Fibromyalgia (recently gained formal approval in USA) and certain neuropathies ~ 150-200/month
Tramadol – especially for pain in elderly or those intolerant to other opioids $150+/month depending
Cymbalta for chronic pain with depression – $150+/month
There is more. We also need a pain clinic in Regina and Dr. Lang (Anesthesia) appears willing to run it (though obviously more multidisciplinary help would be needed).
I would invite all interested parties to submit here. ( I won’t publish your name online unless specifically requested or have comments you wish to make)
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8 Responses to Cannot treat Chronic Pain in Saskatchewan

  1. Steve Ruf says:

    We need these Doctors and the help from the government. I want to support them in every way I can. I suffer from chronic pain and help with these drugs would help.

  2. Judy Hickie says:

    I have been suffering with chronic pain for over 4 years and it is a very frustrating position to be in. I have spent many of my pension cheques on treatments , on medications and on driving to appointments trying to find relief. I have been to emergency many times not knowing how I was going to make it through the next days. My doctor has tried but he doesn’t have the knowledge to treat chronic pain . This past Jan. a nurse recommended that I see a nurse who has a consulting business on chronic pain . She has helped me a lot but of course it costs money to receive her help. She is presently trying to convince the Sask. government to cover the cost.I am now seeing a great doctor in Saskatoon who understands chronic pain. Yes another expense as it is 6 hours from home plus hotel bills. On top of this our government does not allow the use of treatments such as acupuncturists , chiropractors, physiotherapists for income tax purposes even when my doctor wrote them a letter recommending I needed these treatments for pain. Something needs to be done and soon because this problem is not going to go away intact it will only increase as the population ages.

  3. keith says:

    I have been dealing with pain since 2000,,,i was getting the much needed therapy from my home province in Manitoba, but since i moved to Saskatchewan, i am so frustrated. I have a C6,C7,C8,C9 disc problem in my neck and i can not get anyone in this province to give me a cortizone injection, and ive been to 3 hospitals. physiotherapy, and acupuncutre does help, though it is not covered through sask medical. i am stuck on oxycodone, and percocet pills until i can see a neurologist which ive been told will take a year to get in, omg i could be dead by then from an overdose. I am seriously thinking of moving to another province, it seems that all the good doctors have moved to much warmer climates than the prairie provinces. The government should be doing something to keep doctors here in saskatchewan if you want your populations to grow.

  4. BRUE says:

    I have been on amytriptyline since i was injured. Now “WCB = Worst Criminal Bastards” is denying me this prescription; My Injury claim file is FULL of blatant falsified / fabricated – fictitious LIES; WCB Board Services even submitted falsified lies to Appeal Hearing; WCB incorrectly reworded Doctors report, and added falsified lies, which were used in APPEALS to deliberately deny Doctors request for SURGERY:

    God Help you if you are unfortunate to suffer “Significant Injury with Insurance Interests on the Job in Saskatchewan, because WCB Psychopathic Perverts deliberately prevent anything and everything an injured worker requires to even have a CHANCE for a health recovery; NO-one could fathom the CORRUPTION deliberately used to “CONTAIN COSTS” even though WCB has a $2.2 Billion Dollars

  5. Irene stettner says:

    I have chronic back & hip pain,I take opioid drugs to help to try & control my unlivable pain.i have seen Dr Lang in Regina waiting for a pain pump for over a year.I might as well give up and die all I can do is sleep which is caused by pain pills,Have no life!!i had back surgery,lower vertebrae to my mid section & causing more pain ( another pinched nerve)?? I’ve had a hip replacement.nothing but pain THIS IS REAL!!!Drugs don’t fix the problem ,cover up the problem and get more n more n more pills.Then more pills for the next problem,I asked my general practioner,what she could do for me her exact answer WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS!!!thats all they do .I NEED this pain pump so I can have a little bit of life that I may have left.I get so depressed.Someone Please Help Us .

  6. Karen says:

    Hi everyone. I’m late to the party. I have been with severe
    Pain you know the kind where even breathing is scary and work
    Unable to sit or sleep more than 2 hrs for more than 25 years
    All meals in bed.Then: collagen ashwaghanda and most
    If all 2 years of medical Cannabis and I have some pain control
    I am able to make appointments and drive and leave my house !!

  7. Karen says:

    Oh and that’s after 20 years of opioids and I had to take myself off
    And use a dispensary . No dr would prescribe and my family dr said flat out
    I couldn’t be her patient if I wanted to use Cannabis .The system doesn’t work

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