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Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

In the midst of an epidemic that has reached crisis levels across the U.S., The New York Times reports that insurance companies’ pricing policies may be contributing to the prolific prescribing of opioids to Americans. Heretofore, doctors, pharmacies and drug companies have been blamed for the overdoses and record deaths attributed to opioid painkillers. But, the Times says, insurance companies are just as culpable because they make it difficult, if not impossible, for patients to get less addictive — but more expensive — pain drugs.

Aside from the obvious — that everybody in the health profession seems to be profiting from opioid sales except the patients themselves — the news that insurance companies are behind this is not surprising. The truth is insurance companies are behind a number of “treatments” that favor their bottom line but are poisoning and killing patients.

For example, mercury is a potent poison that isn’t safe for anyone, but is especially dangerous for children. Yet, many insurance companies refuse to pay for mercury-free fillings in both children and adults. Hand in hand with the pro-corporate U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which puts industry profits above children’s health, insurance companies ensure that amalgam, which is 50 percent mercury, is put in children’s mouths without warnings and in total disregard to the dangers. This is why I continue to support holistic, mercury-free dentistry and Consumers for Dental Choice.

And when it comes to opioids, it is also why I encourage you to find other methods to address pain that don’t have to be run through a profit-driving insurance program. Astaxanthin, ginger, curcumin, boswellia, bromelain and cayenne cream are known analgesics that can help with pain. Science-backed non-drug options for pain relief include acupuncture, massage, exercise, relaxation techniques and more. Dietary changes can offer additional pain relief options as well.
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