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Nov-26-2012 21:49printcomments

Don't Let FDA and Painkiller Profiteers Slide in Senate Investigation

"Crime expands according to our willingness to put up with it." Barry J. Farber, author

Baucus and Grassley
Baucus and Grassley

(MYRTLE BEACH SC) - Open Letter to Senators Baucus and Grassley -- Heading U.S. Senate Investigation into Pharmaceutical Companies and their Mouthpieces Fueling the Prescription Painkiller Epidemic

My question to Senators Baucus and Grassley is -- why are you not investigating the FDA and Curtis Wright, MD in this call for answers to the painkiller epidemic? Also, since the Senate is not restricting their investigation to any statute of limitations, they may want to look into the activities of J. David Haddox, DDS, MD and Vice President of Health Policy for Purdue Pharma. Haddox was responsible for coining the word "pseudo-addiction" to the medical profession when there began to be concerns with patients exhibiting addictive behavior back in the late 1990's. His actions almost single-handedly propelled us to where we are today in the painkiller epidemic.

Curtis Wright, MD while employed by the FDA was on a panel approving OxyContin for end stage cancer treatment. With the benefits of "off label marketing" Purdue Pharma was able to convince physicians and patients that their blockbuster drug could be prescribed for moderate pain -- and was less likely to be addictive or abused. Dr. Wright subsequently left employment with the FDA to become gainfully employed by Purdue Pharma and in doing so violated FDA policy. The FDA cited statute of limitation restrictions in their not pursuing action against Dr. Wright. The FDA claimed they were not aware that Wright was working for Purdue Pharma. Are you buying what I'm selling Senators? I don't find it believable that the FDA did not know where Wright was employed -- unless they can claim they didn't have access to the Internet.


For informational purposes, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (Montana) and Senior Committee Member Chuck Grassley (Iowa) began an investigation in May 2012 into the ties of pharmaceutical giants Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson with pharma funded pain foundations and physicians who pushed for the increased use of prescription painkillers aka opioids. This push for physicians to prescribe painkillers was by the pharmaceutical companies and their paid foundations and physician spokespersons to advocate for the "under treatment of pain" as well as having the diagnosis of pain being considered a "disease" rather than a "symptom".

The Senate investigation focuses on a detailed account of all payments from 1997 to the present (again no statute of limitations applying) between Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin at the center of the painkiller epidemic and the following:

The American Pain Foundation (closed the day after the Senate announced their investigation)
The American Academy of Pain Medicine
The American Pain Society
The American Geriatric Society
The Wisconsin Pain & Policy Study Group (closed)
The Alliance of State Pain Initiatives
The Center for Practical Bioethics
Beth Israel Medical Center (Department of Pain Medicine & Palliative Care)
The Joint Commission (and all related entities)
The Federation of State Medical Boards


Russell K. Portenoy, MD
Scott M. Fishman, MD as well as his book "Responsible Opioid Prescribing"
Perry G. Fine, MD
Lynn R. Webster, MD
Rollin M. Gallagher, MD
Bill McCarber, MD
Martin Grabois, MD
Myra Christopher

In addition, all documents and communications from 2004 to the present pertaining to the American Pain Foundation's Military/Veterans Pain Initiative are under Senate scrutiny.

These entities and individuals progressed in their reckless promotion of prescribing painkillers resulting in the loss of life in the hundreds of thousands, to marketing for what they called "military pain" which is crippling our veterans in addiction and death. The Senate may want to expand their investigation of this criminal activity to the following:

Clinical trials have been approved by the FDA for the use of OxyContin in children ages 6 to 16. If you think these clinical trials on children being prescribed OxyContin is about the FDA extending the Purdue Pharma patent on OxyContin than Senators Baucus and Grassley, you have been deceived by the masters of deceit -- and there is no statute of limitations on deceit.

Last month Senators Baucus and Grassley released the results of their 16 month investigation into a medical technology company called Medtronic who collaborated with physician authors to edit or write studies which misrepresented risks and side effects as well as undisclosed financial ties with physicians who authored studies making $210 million in payments to physicians over a 15-year period.

Here is the link to the Senate press release regarding their investigation of Medtronic

Since the Senate investigations don't seem to be affected by any statute of limitations, I would like to throw this piece of information out to them. The American Chronic Pain Association lists J. David Haddox, DDS, MD as a member of their Advisory Board where it indicates his duties as being a "public spokesperson" for Purdue Pharma.

So I ask you Senators Baucus and Grassley -- is there a statute of limitations on the deaths and addictions of hundreds of thousands of people in this country, not to mention Canada? You missed a couple of individuals in your investigation. I'll point you in the direction of true perpetrators of this prescription drug epidemic -- Drs. Haddox and Wright and both while under the watchful eye of the FDA. Guess that's where the line "Eyes wide shut" would apply to the FDA. Hopefully the Senate's eyes are wide open as they conduct their investigation on who is responsible for this epidemic of painkillers consuming the U.S. There are many eyes on you for justice for families destroyed by this painkiller epidemic generated by lies.

If you would like your voice heard for the hundreds of thousands of victims of the promotion of dangerous painkillers which resulted in addictions and death, please contact:

_______________________________________ 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.

LP - For wonderful holiday memories with family and friends and introducing me to duck calls -- you are the best

Communications Office (Baucus), 202-224-4515
Jill Gerber (Grassley), 202-224-6522

LP - For wonderful holiday memories with family and friends and introducing me to duck calls -- you are the best and I treasure our love.

Marianne Skolek

Investigative Reporter for on drug epidemic>UUWoHUEr4ZAbQOfIqtOArjgg&index=6&feature=plcp 908-285-1232

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Janet Colbert November 27, 2012 1:19 pm (Pacific time)

I hope they include jail time for all the deaths they have caused. Corruption and greed has been allowed to dominate too long. stoppnow (stop the organized pill pushers) now

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