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Jun-05-2011 22:47printcomments

Are Oxycontin Doctors Overmedicating Kids to Death?

"There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it -- ALWAYS." Mahatma Gandhi

Kid with pills

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - In June 2010, I wrote about Lisa Humphrey, MD, Medical Director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio who was quoted as saying -- "Recognizing and treating pain in children can be a challenge. Unlike adults, kids may not cry or complain when in pain."

Dr. Lisa Humphrey

The good doctor further stated that children exhibit other symptoms such as refusing to eat or drink, becoming quiet, withdrawn, having sleep problems, are fussy and have changes in mood or behavior. "If their child is not acting like themselves" Humphrey says, "then we should look at pain management so children can go back to their job at hand, which is to have fun and explore."

I challenged Humphrey's pain management of children by asking if the medical profession would be treating them for addiction to opioids when they become teenagers.

In 2009, the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma attempted to market for "the undertreatment of pain in newborns and pediatric patients" as well as for something they called "pregnancy pain." I made a complaint to a government agency against Purdue Pharma and the FDA forced them to discontinue this frightening marketing tactic. I knew Purdue Pharma would find another means of marketing in their effort to addict even the most vulnerable of people -- children. How far behind is the undertreatment of pain in pregnant women?

So why the push for pain management of children -- and I'm not writing of cancer pain -- I am writing of something as routine as a tonsillectomy.

This push for the undertreatment of pain in children -- where is it coming from? Purdue Pharma? No, they don't have to risk marketing for the undertreatment of pain in pediatric patients and having their wrists slapped. Why? Because they fund the following pain societies to do their marketing for them:

  • American Chronic Pain Association
  • American Pain Society
  • American Academy of Pain Management
  • American Pain Foundation
  • American Board of Pain Medicine

This country is experiencing a tsunami of prescription drug death, addiction and abuse -- and we haven't seen anything yet. As long as pharmaceutical companies without a conscience such as Purdue Pharma continue to push the undertreatment of pain -- and direct it at defenseless children -- we have a true national health crisis looming ahead of us.

In April, I wrote that Purdue Pharma was advertising for clinical studies in the treatment of "moderate" to "severe" pain in children ages 6 to 16. Every state in the country should see the tsunami headed their way in the next couple of years because of the criminal marketing used in pushing narcotics to not only adults -- but now children. If there is any doubt that we are not headed for a national crisis of unbelievable proportion, consider what these funded pain societies of Purdue Pharma advertise on their websites.

One example is shown below:

The Use of Opioids for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

"Undertreatment of chronic non cancer pain - Pain is often managed inadequately, despite the ready availability of safe and effective treatments".

"The undertreatment of pain in today's society is not justified. There is currently no nationally accepted consensus for the treatment of chronic pain not due to cancer, yet the economic and social costs of chronic pain are substantial, with estimates ranging in the tens of billions of dollars annually. Pain is often managed inadequately, despite the ready availability of safe and effective treatments. Pain is one of the most common reasons people consult a physician, yet it frequently is inadequately treated, leading to enormous social cost in the form of lost productivity, needless suffering, and excessive healthcare expenditures. Impediments to the use of opioids include concerns about addiction, respiratory depression and their side effects, tolerance, diversion, and fear of regulatory action".

The below statements used by these funded pain societies are absolutely criminal:

Fear of inducing respiratory depression is often cited as a factor that limits the use of opioids in pain management.
It is now accepted by practitioners of the specialty of pain medicine that respiratory depression induced by opioids tends to be a short-lived phenomenon, generally occurs only in the opioid-naive patient, and is antagonized by pain.
Therefore, withholding the appropriate use of opioids from a patient who is experiencing pain on the basis of respiratory concerns is unwarranted.
Other side effects, such as constipation, can usually be managed by attention to diet, along with the regular use of stool softeners and laxatives.
Sedation and nausea, possible early side effects, usually dissipate with continued use.

Current information and experience suggest that many commonly held assumptions need modification. Studies indicate that the de novo development of addiction when opioids are used for the relief of pain is low.

Diversion of controlled substances should be a concern of every health professional, but efforts to stop diversion should not interfere with prescribing opioids for pain management. The mission of the American Pain Society is to serve people in pain by advancing research, education, treatment, and professional practice. The undertreatment of pain in today's society is not justified.

The "undertreatment of pain" in America will not destroy us -- but the tsunami of death and addiction will -- all generated by Purdue Pharma's shrewd marketing of OxyContin.    

LP - Love, and a cough, cannot be hid. ~ George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum, 1651

_____________________________________ 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.

Marianne Skolek
National Activist for Victims of OxyContin and
Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company
Staff Writer,

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

John June 11, 2011 2:41 pm (Pacific time)

If you are surprised, don't be. The "author" and this internet publication "Salem whatever" have a history of histrionics against Purdue Pharma.
THe problem is NOT Purdue; the problem is doctors prescribing drugs to people who don't need them. It's older than Elvis Presley.
Blaming Purdue is like blamin Colt Firearms for all the gun-related deaths or GM for all the auto crash deaths in the world today.
Simply silly.

Editor: Silly?  this rampantly immoral company specifically advertised it falsely to the public and got a lot of people killed, you heartless moron.  Don't drag your crap onto my doormat and expect that we will take it nicely.  Purdue is a terrible company, they market dangerous products that addict people and I'm thinking that is likely your story, but don't take it out on the public good.  Purdue needs to be sued out of existence.

Lilly Walcott June 10, 2011 12:19 pm (Pacific time)

All oxycodone/APAP products are narcotics and are categorized as under the Schedule II controlled substances in the United States. This clearly signifies that some very particular laws and regulations control their sale and use. Of all legal prescription medications, Schedule II controlled substances have the maximum possibility of getting abused. Lilly Walcott FindRxOnline

Luke Easter June 6, 2011 7:38 pm (Pacific time)


LORNA June 6, 2011 6:49 pm (Pacific time)

I disagree with your comments about chronic pain. No,youths should not be given oxy.but, adults like myself suffer everyday because we can not get pain medication necessary so we can go to work and be a dependable employee with a muscle disease.

Karin June 6, 2011 12:21 pm (Pacific time)

This is simply and outrage !! I don't even know what to say to verbalize my shock and dismay. Shame on them. Consenting older adults is one thing, but children? good grief. I saw a doc not long ago ( I think on Current TV online ) on computer about Fl. ( which we moved to the N. part of a few months ago ) and 11 people a day die of oxycontin death every. Most are young adults. :( I live with cronic pain daily, but refuse to take oxycontin. Thankfully I makes me sick. Great report, thanks.

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