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Jul-15-2012 15:49printcomments

Wake Up FDA - Terminate the Endless Financial Benefits of Big Pharma or Resign

FDA board already committing professional suicide with their advocacy for pharma.

Michael David Israel
Michael David Israel

(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - Michael David Israel, every parent's son whose mom and dad could not allow the senseless over-prescribing of opioids to further take our kids lives -- are heroes in every sense of the word. Avi and Julie Israel are fighting a tireless effort to prevent further suicides of our young people when they become addicted to overly prescribed opioids.

On July 18, Avi Israel, a dad who lost his 18 year old son a year ago to the prescription drug epidemic has been invited to appear before the U.S. Senate for hearings on what I consider to be a homeland security crisis. I have spoken with Avi and have the utmost respect for what he has accomplished since his son, Michael David died because of the over prescribing of prescription drug opioids to his young son by a physician -- Michael took his life dying in his dad's arms. Michael did not buy his opioids off the street. He did not abuse the opioids. His own physician was his "drug dealer" and the prescribed opioids killed this young man. Avi started an organization called "Save the Michaels of the World" -- a link to his website is provided below.

Avi and his wife, Julie have connected with elected officials in New York to change laws and bring this national crisis from the battlefield into the chambers of the Senate. Through their determination and efforts, a bill was passed called.

    I-STOP which is a state-led program that uses online databases to help doctors and pharmacists track the prescribing and dispensing of frequently abused prescription drugs. Adoption of this law brings New York into the ranks of a number of other states that have already modernized their approach to stopping the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

    In January of this year, Congressman Brian Higgins and his colleague, Congressman Michael Grimm, led a bipartisan state delegation letter to New York State legislators urging the passage of I-STOP.

    In May, Congressman Higgins convened a meeting with Avi and Julie Israel, Western New York-based prescription drug abuse advocates, and key leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to discuss the federal government’s role in tackling prescription drug abuse.

    The text of Congressman Higgins’ speech is below: Mr. Speaker,

    Yesterday New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was in Western New York to celebrate the passage of New York State’s I-STOP law. This law uses online databases to connect doctors and pharmacists to combat the tragic prescription drug abuse epidemic.

    I was pleased to join the effort by leading a bipartisan state delegation letter in support of this law. While there were many important players in the passage of this bill, I would like to especially congratulate Senator Tim Kennedy and Avi and Julie Israel for their efforts.

    The passage of I-STOP raises awareness of the growing importance of integrating health information technology and electronic medical records into the field of health care. Mr. Speaker, I am hopeful that other states move to implement this and other electronic medical record technologies. This is a serious problem and it is our responsibility to act swiftly. (You Tube video of Congressman Higgins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EqM8iAdnIs&feature=share)

I would ask that Avi and Julie Israel bring a petition with them to the Senate hearing signed by almost 12,000 individuals who have lost family members to this prescription drug epidemic. Now I am aware that the media does not take petitions seriously -- after all in most cases they are just signatures on a piece of paper. This petition initiated by the host of a radio show in Florida called Prescription Addiction Radio (link provided below) goes beyond just signatures. There are almost 12,000 heart wrenching stories of families torn apart by this homeland security crisis in our country. This is now personal -- the senators need to see our kids are dying and becoming addicted every day by the tens of thousands. If this health crisis is allowed to continue, in 5 years it will no longer be tens of thousands of families devastated by this epidemic -- it will be hundreds of thousands of families.

I encourage people to sign this petition entitled "Ban OxyContin" and take the time to let our government officials know their family members addicted and dead could be family members of every member of the Senate -- no one is exempt from this epidemic. Tell your story on this petition -- it will be taken seriously, believe me.

Aggressive and sensible action has to be taken now to prevent deaths of another beautiful boy like Michael David Israel. His life mattered just as all the lives of the victims of this prescription drug epidemic matter.

Studies, hearings, statistics gathered by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) -- as well as the FDA allowing pharma to write guidelines for "safe opioid prescribing" for more than a decade has allowed this epidemic to perpetuate itself into what Avi and Julie Israel are fighting for right now. Many hard working families are desperately working to save their kids lives. We don't need propaganda from the pharmaceutical industry and their lobbying groups pushing physicians to prescribe more opioids. We need the FDA to be swept clean and there to be accountability for their inaction.

This epidemic is not about abuse as the FDA would have you believe. Nor is it about emptying medicine cabinets of prescriptions -- it is about emptying the FDA and getting a new regime in who will focus on the over-production of opioids by the pharmaceutical industry and their lobbying groups pushing physicians to prescribe opioids for every level of pain.

Hopefully the U.S. Senate will hear what Avi Israel says in their chamber this week -- loud and clear and speaking for every family dealing with death and addiction in this country. We've had enough -- read the stories on the "Ban OxyContin" petition -- the stories are powerful. And as far as the media goes, get over the word "petition" -- this is about saving the lives of our kids. The FDA isn't doing it -- parents who have suffered horrific loss of children are speaking out and doing the FDA's job.

We don't need the "Candy Man" running the FDA and working in pharma's interest. We need the "Terminator" running the FDA to end this homeland security crisis.

Avi Israel's invitation by the U.S. Senate to address them next week is shown above.

Save the Michaels of the World website https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/151224488286541/
Stories of almost 12,000 families dealing with addiction and death of loved ones to OxyContin
Prescription Addiction Radio website

LP -- You put up with so much and are so supportive and encouraging, but still reel me in when I need it -- and I hardly fight it. I let you do the Palace and welcome the angel, Gabe. You are the best and I love you.

Marianne Skolek

Investigative Reporter for Salem-News.com and
Columnist for American News Report.com
Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company


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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