For Immediate Release: Don’t Punish Pain Nationwide Rally/Protest

Who: Chronically Ill Patients and Healthcare Providers

What: The 5th Don’t Punish Pain Rally Nationwide Protest

When: October 16, 2019 11AM – 1PM

Where: Medical Board of California 

  2005 Evergreen Street  

 Sacramento, CA 95815


All Rallies:


The 5th “Don’t Punish Pain Rally” will be held nationwide on October 16, 2019.


While attempting to rein in the abuse and misuse of illicit drugs, the federal government has implemented policy that has caused great harm to Americans in genuine need of legitimately prescribed FDA-approved pain medications.

The CDC Opioid Guidelines released in 2016 were not intended to apply toward patients currently stable on opioid treatment and were not meant to guide providers outside of primary care. The intent was to curb the perceived overprescribing of prescription opioids thought to be responsible for the increasing number of overdose deaths. However, more accurate data recently released from the CDC has shown without any reasonable doubt that prescription drugs did not cause the majority of the overdoses. In fact, it is heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl that are responsible for the majority of the overdose deaths yet many regulators, media, healthcare, and law enforcement still do not make the distinction and continue to perpetuate the myth that overprescribing is responsible for the deaths.

After the release of the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, millions of patients with chronic illness went to follow-up appointments and discovered their provider would no longer treat chronic severe pain due to a misunderstanding of intent of these guidelines. These patients were compliant patients who were not abusing these FDA-approved prescription medications and always used these medications exactly as prescribed. Their healthcare providers had been prescribing FDA-approved opioids as just one part of an overall integrated treatment plan.

Misapplication of the CDC Guidelines has become the norm nationwide throughout the healthcare system, among regulators, law makers, and law enforcement. Providers are being threatened by DEA and medical boards with raids and programs such as the MBC’s Death Certificate Project that make inaccurate accusations based on a misunderstanding of the CDC Guidelines and unreasonable expectations. Providers attacked often find they are being blamed for circumstances beyond their control such as patients who died largely from suicide and multiple illicitly manufactured drugs and/or alcohol rather than prescription drugs they had prescribed for their patient. Providers are so fearful they will be unjustly accused that many are refusing to treat pain entirely. Furthermore, many providers have stopped practicing medicine of any kind. This has resulted in the abandonment of millions of patients and a shortage of providers willing to treat pain.

 Millions who suffer from chronic illnesses such as Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, Sickle Cell, Fibromyalgia, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Chiari Malformation, Arachnoiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Joint Disease, Cancer, and thousands of other painful illnesses have been left “homeless” in the medical community, unable to get even the most basic medical care.  Many have become disabled from the pain they endure every second, every minute, every hour and every day of their lives. They have essentially been expunged from medical care and society as a whole.

 Veterans, who have fought for our country, were told and continue to be told that they would no longer receive opioid pain medications for traumatic battlefield injuries, and are simply left to suffer.

 In late 2018, the AMA, HHS Pain Management Task Force, and the Human Rights Watch, and 300 medical professionals (HP3) exposed the fallacies of the CDC Guidelines and called upon the CDC to revise their guidelines to put a stop to the misapplication that is harming and killing so many patients. 

 On April 9th, 2019, the FDA issued a warning about the significant harm of tapering patients abruptly and without patient consent. On April10, 2019, CDC finally issued a clarification stating the guidelines have been misapplied and are not meant to keep patients from accessing opioids at a dose appropriate for them. While these recent releases are helpful, the restrictions on patients continue largely due to providers who fear unjust accusations from programs such as the California Death Certificate Project and DEA involvement. In fact, most healthcare organizations as well as law makers, insurance, pharmacies, medical boards, and law enforcement continue to misapply the CDC Guidelines to the detriment of patients and providers across the nation.

On October 16, 2019, the CA Chapter of DPPR will rally in front of the Medical Board of California as part of the Don’t Punish Pain Rally’s nationwide protest.  They hope to bring awareness to the medical board’s reckless disregard for the welfare of patients and their medical providers as a result of the weaponization of opioid guidelines. The guidelines were never meant to be applied as a one-size-fits-all model and must be repealed to restore patient-centered care. 

 Please join CA  DPPR on October 16th and help persuade the Medical Board of California to allow providers to treat their patients as medically necessary and without fear of persecution.  

Contact DPPR at or on facebook to find out how to join the movement to fight for appropriate, humane treatment of people with severe painful disease and the providers who treat them. 

About the Don’t Punish Pain Rally: Our mission is to energize the diverse community of people affected by pain by providing a rally for their voices to be heard. We want to help the public understand the difference between legally prescribed opioid medications and illegal illicit street drugs. We need our elected officials to stand up for the 100 million Americans who live with chronic illness.


Media Contacts

Don’t Punish Pain Rally Founder: Claudia Merandi (401-523-0426) 



California DPPR State Organizer: 

Rhonda Ostrowitz Favero


Phone: 951-901-3279

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