To the responsible TMA representative:
In a page 12 article featured in the September TMA journal, Tennessee Medicine, you stated, “Suboxone will be included in the type of prescriptions considered as part of determining whether a location meets the definition and should be registered with the state as a pain management clinic”. This statement is precisely the opposite of all previous pronouncements on the topic. Everything I have read until this point in time states, “Suboxone will not be included in the type of prescriptions considered as part of determining whether a location meets the definition and should be registered with the state as a pain management clinic.” [italics offered for emphasis]. I do not believe you understand the dire ramifications of what I hope is shoddy journalism. If your statement is true — and I could find no second source for substantiation — then an entire specialty, that of Addiction Medicine, is crippled beyond repair in the state of Tennessee. Addiction professionals work passionately and hard in a difficult field treating America’s number one disease. Few outside the field have a good understanding of the brain physiology, psychological forces, social ramifications and spiritual insights of this disease. Understand that Suboxone is not and never has been FDA-approved for the treatment of pain; it is for treatment of opioid dependence and for no other FDA-approved purpose. If your statement were true, board-certified specialists in addiction medicine all over Tennessee would have to close the doors of their small practices, given the onerous burden of registering as a pain clinic, leaving thousands of patients without care or access to care. The Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine would have no recourse but to sue to correct restraint of trade issues. If this is true, I need to know immediately what your sources are, in particular I need a copy of the legislative bill that has been passed to create this travesty. If it is not true, we need a vigorous and public retraction correcting the mindset and zeitgeist.
John B. Standridge, M.D.
President, Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine
Personal Medicine LLC
2115 Stein Dr Ste 304
Chattanooga TN 37421-7200