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Socially Programming America for Increased Drug AbuseMarianne Skolek Salem-News.com
“To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.” Confucius
(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - On August 21, 2010 I wrote an article for Salem-News.com entitled "Purdue Pharma Markets Deadly Drugs Through Facebook."
An excerpt from my article is shown here --
Gary Ruskin, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Commercial Alert, was quoted in 2005 as saying "Direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs should be prohibited. This advertising does not promote public health. It increases the cost of drugs and the number of unnecessary prescriptions, which is expensive to taxpayers, and can be harmful or deadly to patients. Prescription drug advertising pressures health professionals to prescribe particular medications, and often the ones that may be less effective and more expensive and dangerous. This intrudes in the relationship between medical professionals and patients, and disrupts the therapeutic process. It takes up valuable time to explain to patients why they may have been misled by the drug advertisements they have seen."
Recently Purdue Pharma announced a Facebook page to advocate for the undertreatment of pain in America.
Under the "Advocacy Voices" tab, the following is just one "expert" in the undertreatment of pain in America:
"The negative impact of unrelieved pain on the lives of individuals and their families, on the health care system, and on society at large is no longer a matter of debate. The unmet needs of millions of patients combine into a major public health concern. Although there have been substantive improvements during the past several decades, the problem remains profound and change will require enormous efforts at many levels. Pressure from patients and the larger public is a key element in creating momentum for change." — Russell K. Portenoy, MD Chairman, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care Beth Israel Medical Center.
"Pressure from patients and the larger public?" How about pressure from every state in the country experiencing sky rocketing death and addiction because of the opioids you are pushing, Dr. Portenoy? I call that a major public health concern as well as "every parent's call for momentum for change."
In the meantime, I am calling upon the FDA to end the "pushing of drugs" through Facebook by Purdue Pharma and their rewarded consultants -- and end their marketing narcotics directly to consumers.
I did take it to the FDA and made a complaint. I was told -- "We don't have the manpower to police Purdue Pharma."
My reply -- "And they know that -- that's why they have gotten away with murder in the epidemic of OxyContin in the U.S. and Canada."
This past week, Facebook forced drug companies to open their pages to comment. If you're not familiar with the "social networking" of Facebook, when something is posted -- a comment can be made as to the posting. That is not the case of the pharmaceutical company -- comments cannot be made by readers of the posts. This action by Facebook -- not the FDA -- to open postings for comment has many businesses - one being Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, to shut down their marketing to consumer pages on Facebook. They can't risk the comments of how OxyContin has devastated their lives and the lives of loved ones.
Facebook added that it would allow some pages to keep their walls blocked off from public debate, but the bulk of the drug companies will lose this privilege.
Purdue Pharma shut down its “Faces of Pain” as well as "Partners Against Pain" pages on Facebook pending the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) release of its crackdown on pharmaceutical companies using a social network to market narcotics. Hopefully, this time around, the FDA will find the necessary manpower to "police" Purdue Pharma and restrict them in direct marketing to consumers.
A recent survey revealed what the public thought of drug companies using Facebook to market their drugs, as well as the FDA’s involvement in this push of narcotics in a social network. The survey is referenced in a PR Web release from WEGO Health Survey -- affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry and Purdue Pharma.
In addition to the controversy of direct marketing to consumers of narcotics on Facebook, there is also a website entitled drugfree.org - see link below. On the website is a "Memorial Page" for family members to post their loved ones pictures and stories - lost to addiction and death. In the background, music plays to make the page heartrending as viewers see the loss of life to the epidemic of addiction and abuse of narcotics. Many lost to OxyContin - over-manufactured to find its way onto the streets and pill mills throughout the country. What many people are unaware of is that one of the sponsors of this website is the maker of OxyContin -- the same company who lied about the dangers of their drug. The website also asks for donations to be made in this fight against what Purdue Pharma created. A website sponsored by a $10 billion criminal pharmaceutical company asking for donations - something wrong with this picture?
A total act of cowardice as the FDA allows social networking through Facebook and websites preying on bereaved families -- Not having the manpower to police Purdue Pharma? Hardly -- the FDA is Purdue Pharma's ally in deception and culpability.
LP - It has all been expressed in thought and dialogue every day -- I only add more love, peace, faith, laughter and support in our journey -- and I cherish you and the "Sounds of Silence."
Salem-News.com Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist exposing Purdue Pharma for their criminal activity in the promotion, marketing and over manufacturing of OxyContin throughout the United States and Canada. She began her work nine years ago after losing her daughter, Jill to prescribed OxyContin.
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. That same month she also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate.
In working with the Department of Justice and Attorney Generals, Marianne has been instrumental in charges being lodged against Purdue Pharma. She also has been retained as a consultant with private attorneys working on behalf of victims and their families against Purdue Phama.
Marianne is a leading authority on the marketing tactics used by Purdue Pharma through their funded pain societies such as the American Pain Foundation in pushing OxyContin for the "under-treatment of pain" in the United States and Canada. The under-treatment of pain is a marketing fallacy contrived by Purdue Pharma and allowed by the FDA. She continues to hold the FDA accountable for this epidemic of OxyContin and lobbies them to reclassify this narcotic to be prescribed for severe pain only - never moderate pain. To date, the FDA has turned a blind eye to the epidemic of death, addiction and abuse of this powerful narcotic. Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. She 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 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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