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Aug-21-2011 22:14printcomments

Socially Programming America for Increased Drug Abuse

“To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.” Confucius

Facebook illegal drug promotion
Is this what comes next? Courtesy:

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - On August 21, 2010 I wrote an article for 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 social network did censor one pro-Oxycontin
photo from the American workplace, captioned:
"Facebook deleted my pic of Oxycontin shortbread cookie"

"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.

  • Sixty percent said that the companies should be actively involved in correcting any misconceptions surrounding its products.
  • Sixty-three percent agree that an open dialogue between the pharmaceutical companies and the users of social media is important.
  • Sixty-four percent agree that there is a need for the FDA to tailor the regulations to fit the unique platform of social media.

In addition to the controversy of direct marketing to consumers of narcotics on Facebook, there is also a website entitled - 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." 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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BEWARE…THE DRAGON Sleep patterns become erratic. Behaviour more aggressive, angry or moody. Excessive chattiness at odd hours. Family members are being asked for money more frequently. Money or jewellery is disappearing. Anxiousness or impatience close to pay days. Evidence of instant cash receipts or payday loans. Credit card balances higher or maxed out. Savings or special investments dwindling. Attendance at school, work or family functions is unpredictable. Participation at home or events becomes unreliable. Unexplained disappearances at odd hours. (For example family car missing at 3:00 am) Voice changes in tone/pitch, or sounds raspy. Sore throat more often. Pinpoint size pupils. Dark circles or perhaps red patchiness around eyes. Habitual scratching of heads, legs, and feet arms—noticeable sores on these areas. Lighters or bits of foil are left lying around, perhaps in vehicles that they may drive. Valuable belongings disappearing… IPod’s, tools, instruments are being pawned. These could be the signs that your loved one is smoking Oxycontin. I wish that someone had given me these tips, a year ago, but now our son is an addict… My son was introduced to Oxycontin by his ex-girlfriend over one year ago. He changed. It was like the light in his eyes was switched off. His behaviour became aggressive, angry and he was defensive and unapproachable. Although he received good pay checks he was always broke. We suspected drugs and confronted him, but could never pin point the problem. Finally over 20,000 dollars of jewellery was stolen from our home. That started closer scrutiny and police detective involvement. Eventually the girlfriend admitted she had stolen from us to pay drug debts. After months of turmoil in our home, we finally confirmed that our son has an Oxycontin addiction. Life hasn’t settled since. Money has been stolen along with cars and valuables all to feed this evil habit. He has promised to detox and attempted 5 times. All-the-while he has gouged at his face, arms and legs--has oozing sores all over his body. We have lived a life with fear of him committing suicide, having a heart attack and at times have even wondered about our own safety. Never would I have thought that an honours student, who never once walked in a principal’s office or got into fights or caused any grief to family–would so quickly fall so far down into a dark hole. I have spoken to police, interventionists, counsellors, nurses and doctors–they have all said this is the worst drug to ever try to detox from. Once you try it – it grabs your soul. Oxycontin can be found anywhere. People you don’t suspect are selling it for 50 to 80 dollars a pill even that innocent looking senior citizen! It can rapidly turn into a 300 dollar a day habit. It gives an instant high when broken down to powder and lite over foil. The fumes are inhaled through a tube or straw. It’s called “Chasing the dragon”. The elation is immediate, and the craving for more is nearly unstoppable. The Purdue Drug Company, along with pharmacies, doctors must be more responsible and compile a national data base to monitor frequency of prescriptions. There are people without morals–faking pain, pretending prescriptions are lost or stolen, and reselling this drug to our young people to supplement their lifestyles. This drug is too easily found throughout communities and is quickly consuming bright young lives. Until some abuse prevention measures are taken, the FDA and Health Canada should impede the PRODUCTION AND PRESCRIBING OF THIS HARMFUL DRUG NOW! STOP “THE DRAGON” IN IT’S TRACKS!!!

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