FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (4/4/04)
Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., President
American Pain Institute (API)
Virginia Brooks, President
National Pain Patients Coalition (NPPC)
Black Pain Advocacy Grass Roots Leaders Call
For Congressional Hearings on the DEA
National Juneteenth Leaders Urge
Congressional Black Caucus to Support
Call for Congressional Hearings on the DEA
Petition Drive for 1 Million Signatures in Support of
Congressional Hearings on the DEA Goal of 5th Annual
Juneteenth Frederick Douglass Freedom March
"America's In Pain!" - MARCH ON WASHINGTON - "Silent No More!"
April 18-20, 2004
(Washington, DC) - Calling for "Congressional Hearings on the DEA War on Physicians, Pharmacists and Pain Patients", grass
roots black pain advocacy leaders are pushing for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to take action. The Rev. Ronald V.
Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & President of the American Pain Institute (API), Virginia Brooks, President of the National Pain
Patients Coalition (NPPC) and Frank McCune, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Medical Commission are
organizing "America's In Pain!" - MARCH ON WASHINGTON - "Silent No More!", on the National Mall and
at the US Capitol, April 18-20, 2004, in Washington, DC.
"The DEA war on drugs has turned into war on black patients and the physicians who treat them," states Virginia Brooks, an African-American chronic pain patient and leader of the National Pain Patients Coalition (NPPC). "Unable to find a doctor willing to treat them, many pain patients are choosing suicide over living with chronic pain."
The National Medical Association (NMA), at the 2002 NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly, cited "poor pain management" as a "major health problem" for African-Americans. According to an article published in the 9/22/02 issue of Jet
"Racial profiling by doctors and pharmacies, as well as the lack of Black Physicians, contribute to inadequate pain management, a serious national public health problem that affects millions of Blacks and other underserved minority populations, according to an ongoing study by the National Medical Association.
Based on the NMA's preliminary study findings: Racial profiling is more prevalent in pharmacies located in urban areas where pharmacies either refuse to carry certain opiate medications for fear or robbery, or a belief that prescriptions will be diverted for illegal use.
The NMA, which represents the collective voice of 25,000 Black physicians, continues to evaluate disparities in pain treatment based on race."
As the leader of the "poor pain patients movement in America", civil rights advocate and Baptist Medical Missionary, serving the poorest population in America, in the Mississippi
Delta, Rev., Dr. Myers is urging the CBC to take special notice of not just the undertreatment of African-Americans in chronic pain, but also the unjustified DEA prosecutions of African-American physicians who treat chronic pain patients.
"African-Americans physicians have been disproportionately targeted by the DEA because of the chronic pain patients they treat," states Rev., Dr. Myers, Sr., M.D. "The DEA has unjustly prosecuted black physicians who treat chronic pain, shutting down their medical practices and in some cases, trying to give them long prison terms. The irresponsible actions of the DEA "witch hunt" of many good physicians who treat chronic pain has led to a health care catastrophe in the African-American community."
Dr. Michael Jackson, an African-American board certified pain management specialist, was recently sentenced to over 24 years in prison for a crime he says never happened. "My
crime was treating patients in chronic pain and being prosecuted as a drug dealer by the DEA," states Dr. Jackson, who will be one of the featured speakers at the National Pain Rally during the MARCH ON WASHINGTON.
"Far too many people have chosen suicide over living with untreated chronic pain," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "The DEA's hysteria over oxycontin, and now hydrocodone, which the DEA is trying to make a schedule II narcotic drug, we hope will be quickly investigated by Congress to turn the tide on the epidemic of pain patient suicides. The increased suicides among chronic pain patients demonstrates the morally reprehensible actions of the DEA."
Organizers of the MARCH ON WASHINGTON are gathering 1 million signatures on petitions calling for Congress to conduct hearings on the DEA attacks on pain management in America. They plan to present these petitions to members of Congress during the MARCH.
Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership
Council (NJCLC), will also place the chronic pain treatment issues at the heart of the 5th Annual Juneteenth Frederick Douglass Freedom March, on Saturday, the "19th of June", 2004, in Washington, DC.
"Following the MARCH ON WASHINGTON this month, the public call for Congressional Hearings on the DEA will continue as the theme for the 2004 Juneteenth Frederick Douglass Freedom March in Washington, DC," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF). "The freedom march is part of the 2004 WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, honoring one of the greatest African-American advocates for justice and equality, abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Douglass stated, 'Power concedes nothing without a demand', so we will continue in the tradition of Douglass with our goal of gathering 1 million signatures on
petitions "demanding" Congressional Hearings on the DEA War on Physicians, Pharmacists and Pain Patients!"
For information on the MARCH ON WASHINGTON and how you can sign the petition calling for Congressional Hearings on the DEA, call Dr. Myers at 662-247-1471 or 202-331-8864; Virginia Brooks at 662-334-6204; web sites: www.AmericanPainInstitute.org or www.PainCoalition.us, e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com.
For information on WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2004 and the 5th Annual Juneteenth Frederick Douglass Freedom March go to web sites: www.Juneteenth.us or www.19thofJune.com; contact Franchette Burgess, Director of the Washington Juneteenth Committee, at 202-248-0180, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.