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Big Pharma's System of Rewards... for their OwnMarianne Skolek Salem-News.com
The FDA as a regulatory agency accepts any award from the pharmaceutical industry or its funded pain foundations.
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - Douglas Throckmorton, MD - Deputy Director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the true "smoking gun" in the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and Canada killing and addicting. Dr. Throckmorton has been described by the FDA as bringing "invaluable leadership and support to the Agency and he will continue to do an outstanding job working to protect and advance public health."
In addition to sharing the responsibility for managing the Center's broad national and international activities in drug regulation, Dr. Throckmorton will continue to be the founding chair of FDA's new Drug Safety Oversight Board, the CDER liaison to the Agency's human subjects' research review board, and the chair of CDER's revitalized Research Coordinating Committee. He is also a champion of our efforts to improve tools for communicating drug safety information to patients, and for improving the process for getting safe and effective drugs to patients who can benefit from them."
Maybe Dr. Throckmorton will be able to answer my question as he manages the FDA's "national and international activities in drug regulation." In 2011, Dr. Throckmorton why did you accept an award entitled The Phillipp M. Lippe, MD Award given to a physician "for outstanding contributions to the social and political aspect of Pain Medicine. Social and political accomplishments could be those that benefit the science, the practice or the recognition of the specialty"?
Who bestowed this award on an FDA employee in the regulatory business not the private sector? None other than the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) - "the physicians voice in pain medicine." And funded by Purdue Pharma maker of the drug OxyContin responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and addictions. I'm curious as to why a government agency set up to protect the American people would accept an award from the private sector he is regulating -- not to mention that Purdue Pharma as well as the American Academy of Pain Medicine are currently under US Senate investigation for their parts in pushing opioids causing over a 400% increase in opioid deaths and addictions because of their marketing strategies. But wait it gets better.
The names of some past presidents (year in parenthesis) of the "prestigious" American Academy of Pain Medicine who played a major role in pushing opioids for all levels of pain while down playing the dangers of opioids and promoting the undertreatment of pain in the U.S. and Canada may be of particular interest to Dr. Throckmorton as he "protects" the American people. These are the true "loaded guns":
Scott Fishman, MD (2005) quoted in his book "Responsible Opioid Prescribing -A Physician's Guide" (and also under Senate investigation) as saying "Physicians must routinely balance the potential risks and benefits of any treatment plan. But in the face of the complexity of pain, as well as the specter of scrutiny from healthcare regulators and law enforcement, it's easy to become paralyzed and decide that the least risky course is to not treat the pain aggressively or at all."
Giving you an uneasy feeling yet about accepting this "prestigious" award from the AAPM Dr. Throckmorton? If not, it should be. Keep in mind that the below referenced physicians are all under Senate investigation.
Rollin M. Gallagher, MD MPH (2009) - more on Dr. Gallagher in a future article.
Perry G. Fine, MD (2011) - Defense expert in the Anna Nicole Smith suspicious death wherein Dr. Fine testified that 1,500 prescribed opioids a month given to Ms. Smith did not make her an addict.
If you don't have a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach now Dr. Throckmorton after knowing that a past president of the organization you took an award from would make such a criminal statement as "1,500 prescribed opioids a month" do not make an addict - maybe the FDA needs to start cleaning their own house. The American people should have a sick feeling in their stomachs knowing that by association with accepting this award, you have not safeguarded the American people.
Martin Grabois, MD (2012) - more on Dr. Grabois in a future article.
Lynn Webster, MD (2013) also under DEA investigation for deaths at his pain clinic.
Dr. Throckmorton might be interested in a quote from "Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain - A Guide for Practitioners" written by Dr. Webster. "Several surveys have shown that the fear of being scrutinized by a regulatory or law enforcement agency compels many physicians to prescribe fewer opioids. Many physicians are particularly reluctant to prescribe opioids for their pain patients who do not have cancer. This unwillingness (caused by regulatory concerns) to treat pain is known among prescribers of opioids as the "chilling effect."
Funny Dr. Throckmorton, I consider the "chilling effect" the fact that the FDA as a regulatory agency would accept any award from the pharmaceutical industry or its funded pain foundations. Still think you are in good company Dr. Throckmorton accepting an award from the private sector whose involvement in the opioid epidemic killing hundreds of thousands of people is acting as a protector of the American people? I don't and I believe I am not alone in my thinking.
Just to remind you Dr. Throckmorton, the US Senate is investigating the people you were so enamored by in accepting your award because of payments they received from pharmaceutical manufacturers - some of those individuals you paid tribute to when you gave your acceptance speech to the AAPM.
Here are some of the highlights of what you said when Scott Fishman, MD bestowed the prestigious award on you. It might be a good time to take the bogus award off your mantle.
First thanks to the Academy for this honor. I am humbled to accept it from an organization as influential as yours. For the last several years I have really come to appreciate the important work you do both supporting me with pain and pain medicine and the impact of what you have now done in this area.
I am truly honored and grateful to have had a small part in contributing to the important work. Like most physicians I have seen the terrible toll that untreated pain can reck. I have also taken care of patients suffering with drug and alcohol abuse as an internist at a V.A. hospital. (Didn't take care of any patients developing "addiction" to drugs, Dr. Throckmorton? Curious that you didn't mention the word "addiction" that both you and the AAPM avoid).
You mentioned in your acceptance of your award providing access to pain medication and "we absolutely need to listen to groups like yours so we don't make mistakes."
And my favorite -- the FDA is looking forward to working in the future to have more involvement with groups such as the AAPM.
Years ago western movies were made in black and white -- we always knew the bad guys because they wore the "black" hats. The good guys wore the "white" hats. If you try to change hats right now Dr. Throckmorton, keep in mind the blood from your hands will be vivid on a white hat.
LP - what's with the magnetic sign on your car showing arrows to the right, arrows to the left and arrows straight ahead? Well who follows the arrows anyway? Too busy laughing and loving the peace and you.
Marianne Skolek https://twitter.com/
Investigative Reporter for Salem-News.com covering OxyContin and prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. and Canada
Marianne Skolek twitter.com/MarianneSkolek
Salem-News.com 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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