Those suffering from America’s opioid crisis recently received two major messages of hope.
On Oct. 24, President Donald Trump signed the Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA) into law. Dozens of bills designed to address the diverse aspects of the opioid crisis were consolidated into one strategic and integrated approach.
OCRA received overwhelming bi-partisan support in both Chambers.
HR6, which is now Public Law 115-2716, broke new ground in being the first legislation to mandate aggressive development and adoption of alternative pain treatments that include "innovative medical technologies for pain management."
On Oct. 11, Congress held its first ever briefing on ending opioid use through "innovative medical technologies for pain management."
Photobiomodulation (PBM) was the featured technology.
James Carroll (CEO, THOR Photomedicine), professor Praveen Arany (New York University at Buffalo), Annette Quinn RN (Radiation Oncology, University of Pittsburgh (UPMC) Cancer Center) introduced the science and promise of PBM therapy to a capacity crowd of senior policy officials from House and Senate offices, the Executive Branch, and leading think tanks. Nineteen science and medical organizations sponsored this historic gathering.
PBM Therapy delivers a beam of light, which when applied to the body at the right wavelength (red to near infra-red), intensity and time, reverses the disease process of a growing number of medical conditions. It works by delivering light to the hundreds of mitochondria that exist in every one our body’s 37 trillion cells. This provides an energy boost that helps the cells repair and operate at peak performance.
There are already 500 clinical trials and 4,000 laboratory studies that show PBM Therapy’s effectiveness, without any documented side-effects. "PBM Therapy is commonly used in Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and most European nations. The national health programs in many of these countries cover PBM treatments."
The U.S. has been slow to embrace PBM Therapy. American Veterinarians and athletes have used it for years to treat pain. The urgency of the opioid crisis, and the new mandate for pain treatment alternatives, may finally bring this proven approach to those who need it.
The study mandated by the newly signed Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA) will be led by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
This is important, as Medicare and Medicaid can dramatically reduce health costs when patients use PBM Therapy. Quicker recovery time, no side effects, shorter hospital stays, and reduced return visits have cut costs by nearly fifty percent in the United Kingdom. PBM use would substantially reduce costs to both patients and private health insurance companies.
The next steps for PBM Therapy adoption are mandated in the OCRA law, including research grants to fund further basic science experiments, therapeutic dose, and large multi-center clinical trials. OCRA also funds "regional centers of excellence" to develop curriculum and train the next generation of healthcare professionals in non-opioid pain treatments.
Harvard University’s Medical School is discovering that PBM reverses Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, treats depression and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Boston University is working with the Veterans Administration (VA) on depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and PTSD.
University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center and New York University’s Medical College are proving that PBM Therapy reverses and even prevents the side effects of cancer radiotherapy, especially oral mucositis.
Shepherd University will be the first nursing school in America to formally include PBM Therapy in their curriculum. Shepherd is leading the way on revolutionizing medical protocols for the betterment of patients and their loved ones. Hopefully, other schools will join the PBM Therapy movement.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spent over a year determining how to expand its PBM Therapy approval. This includes establishing a dedicated PBM Product Code, and officially recognizing PBM treatments are curative, not just temporary relief. It is time for the FDA to move forward.
After years of tragedy and death, the battle to rid America of opioid use disorder is starting to turn the tide. This promise of hope will become a reality only when PBM Therapy receives the funding, acceptance, and adoption it deserves.
Scot Faulkner is the best-selling author of: "Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution." He also served as the first chief administrative officer of the U.S. House, and was director of personnel for the Reagan campaign and went on to serve in the presidential transition team and on the White House staff. During the Reagan administration, he held executive positions at the FAA, the GSA, and the Peace Corps. Read more of Scot Faulker, Go Here Now.
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