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Apr-28-2012 19:07printcomments

Purdue Pharma's 'Painful' Excuse for Mainstream American Drug Addiction

When so many deaths are caused by a drug like OxyContin, it becomes clear that the drug war needs to be waged against 'legal' pushers.

Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physician's Guide
Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physician's Guide

(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - In the next few weeks, I will be writing a series of articles on a book entitled "Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physician's Guide" by Scott M. Fishman, MD. The book is sponsored by organizations with a "common interest" in what they call promoting safe and effective pain management, including but not limited to:

American Academy of Pain Medicine
(funded by the maker of OxyContin - Purdue Pharma)
American Pain Foundation
(funded by the maker of OxyContin - Purdue Pharma)
National Pain Foundation
(funded by the maker of OxyContin - Purdue Pharma)
Pain & Policy Studies Group, University of Wisconsin
(admitted to taking $2.5 million from Purdue Pharma)
Purdue Pharma
(maker of OxyContin who pleaded guilty to downplaying dangers of OxyContin)
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) commissioned Dr. Fishman's book and is distributing it to physicians to offer "clearer and concise guidance in managing the risks of pain management with opiods." The book came out of an initiative launched over a decade ago by the FSMB to create its "Model Guidelines for the Use of Controlled Substances for the Treatment of Pain." These guidelines, which were updated to a "Model Policy" in 2004, have been praised as "well balanced" by such groups as the Pain and Policy Study Group of the University of Wisconsin. The two individuals at the University of Wisconsin responsible for the input on this "pain study" did not think it necessary to say they were on the take from Purdue Pharma for $2.5 million for their "input." They also referred to themselves as scientists when, in fact, their area of expertise was in social work. Link provided to article in exposing their ties to the maker of OxyContin.

Now to Dr. Fishman's book guiding physicians on responsible opioid prescribing and my problems with many of his statements -- as a "lay person" who is witnessing the prescription drug epidemic first hand -- every day -- by families corresponding about the loss of life of loved ones to addiction and death because of the over-prescribing of opioids-- I offer the following statements made by the good doctor as he guides physicians throughout the country on prescribing opioids responsibly: "The current need for guidance on opioid prescribing arises from the fact that, as addictive and life-destroying as opioids can be for some, they are life-enhancing and non-addictive for others." If this were a true statement Dr. Fishman, we would not be riding a tidal wave of prescription drug deaths and addictions in every state in the country as well as Canada. Opioids are addictive -- we both know that fact. A key factor contributing to the ongoing problem of under-treated pain according to Dr. Fishman is: "The perception that prescribing adequate amounts of opioids will result in unnecessary scrutiny by regulatory authorities." Take a ride down to Broward County, Florida Dr. Fishman and bring Margaret Hamburg, MD,, head of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) with you. Witness first hand the "pill mills" that have people lined up around the corners to "feed" their opioid habits. The regulatory authorities (Drug Enforcement Agency - DEA) is kept very busy in Broward County closing these pill mills down -- and this is only Florida. It's taking place in every state in the country. No physician has to worry about regulatory authorities unless they are responsible for the destruction of lives because of over-prescribing opioids and running a pill mill.

This statement in Dr. Fishman's book of "guidelines" is particularly offensive to me and I suspect will be to many others experiencing the prescription drug epidemic:

"Many people also under-report pain because they fear that pain medications will dull their cognitive abilities, lead to addiction, or result in unmanageable side effects. And last, some patients may believe that there is value in suffering, it is their due, or that in some way they deserve to be in pain to expiate some form of "wrong-doing" or "sinfulness."

Shame on you Dr. Fishman -- "sinfulness"? Tell that to the families dealing with the loss of loved ones to death and addiction to the over-prescribing of opioids for mild to moderate pain.

An organization I have written about in previous articles does not support Dr. Fishman and his guidelines. They are Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Their mission is to reduce morbidity and mortality resulting from prescribing of opioids and to promote cautious, safe and responsible opioid prescribing practices).

Physicians serving on the Board of PROP are:

Andrew Kolodny, MD, Brooklyn, NY - President
Michael Von Korff, ScD, Seattle, WA - Vice President
Rosemary Orr, MD, Seattle, WA - Treasurer
Stephen Gelfand, MD, Myrtle Beach, SC - Secretary
Jane Ballantyne, MD, Seattle, WA
Irfan Dhalla, MD, MSc, Toronto, ON
Gary Franklin, MD, MPH, Seattle, WA
David Juurlink, MD, PhD, Toronto, ON
Petros Levounis, MD, M.A., New York, NY
Len Paulozzi, MD, MPH, Atlanta, GA
Jon Streltzer, MD, Honolulu, HI
Art Van Zee, MD, St. Charles, VA Is there a relationship between PROP and the sponsors of the book "Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physicians Guide", by Scott M. Fishman, MD?

No, PROP is not affiliated in any way with this book or its pharmaceutical company sponsors. PROP does not recommend this book. Does PROP want to ban opioids? Absolutely not. We believe that opioids are an extremely important class of medication, especially when used to ease suffering at the end of life and when used short term for acute pain. Does PROP want to ban the practice of treating chronic non-cancer pain with opioids? No. We believe that there are times when it is appropriate to prescribe opioids to patients with chronic non-cancer pain.

Part 2 of this series will offer PROP's commentary on Dr. Fishman's guidelines from the viewpoint of physicians wanting true responsible opioid prescribing. PROP's website:

For every "angel" in heaven because of the prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. and Canada

I love you Baby Girl -- Jill Carol -- Angel of Mine -- 10 years in Heaven.

Marianne Skolek
Investigative Reporter for
Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 8-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.

Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.

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Regular reader April 30, 2012 8:08 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for another dose of truth Marianne!

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