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'Undertreatment of Pain' vs. Prescription Drug Addiction and DeathMarianne Skolek Salem-News.com
"To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice" Confucius
(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - Why is Congress, the FDA, the FTC and the DEA allowing the American Pain Foundation to be kept fat and well financed by pharma in marketing the bogus "undertreatment of pain" in the U.S. while we fight an epidemic of prescription drug addiction and death? Recently the below was printed regarding the consumption of narcotics in epidemic proportion throughout the world -- very interesting read -- Addiction Journal
Consumption of Opiates and under treatment ?October 2, 2011
The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids — and 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone, the opiate that is in Vicodin.
Full story here… abcnews.go.com/US/
Amid heightened awareness that many patients with cancer and other chronic diseases suffer from undertreated pain, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Purdue Pharma’s controlled-release pain reliever OxyContin in 1995.
One of the "other side" is the American Pain Foundation.
I have long been curious about Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin's lobbying group - the American Pain Foundation (APF). It is a very well funded and a vocal organization headed by Scott M. Fishman, MD, Chairman and President. The APF issues press releases on a regular basis regarding the "undertreatment of Pain" in America. Why does Congress, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) allow this type of unscrupulous marketing to be used in an effort to push narcotics? It is no surprise to anyone that we are fighting an epidemic of addictions and deaths -- particularly as it relates to OxyContin, but Purdue Pharma is a big financial supporter of the American Pain Foundation. (See below)
Also, directly off the APF propaganda pages
-- "The problem of undertreated pain is well established. Members of the APF Board of Directors were part of the recent congressionally-mandated IOM review of Pain in America that reported 116 million Americans are in chronic pain. That is more than the number of people who have diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined. This is estimated to cost $635 billion dollars each year, which substantially contributes to excessive health care costs."
Excessive health care costs? No -- excessive health care costs are in the treatment of addiction when doctors prescribe narcotics such as OxyContin and "hook" their patients on a form of Heroin leaving the patient to deal with addiction and horrific withdrawal when they try to stop taking the FDA approved Heroin (OxyContin) -- and severe addiction at that.
"The breadth of the organization is as broad as pain itself. It includes people with acute pain, pain at the end of life and cancer survivors, children with sickle cell disease, soldiers who have lost legs to land mines, and people with mysterious pain disorders that no one can understand, among many others painful conditions." Tell me Dr. Fishman does this include the marketing of narcotics for something you and Purdue Pharma referred to as "pregnancy pain" or how about "military pain"? Listening yet Congress, FDA, FTC, DEA -- want to ask the APF what in the world is a medical definition for "military pain"? Why would any expectant mother need to take a drug such as OxyContin for "pregnancy pain." You let them get away with it. And maybe now would be a good time for someone in government to question why any child between the ages of 6 to 16 would be used in clinical trials of OxyContin? Think it's criminal? I do.
More from Dr. Fishman - "The problem with prescription drug abuse cannot be overstated. It’s an enormous problem that is consuming medicine and policy makers. Our goal is to help make sure prescription drug abuse is addressed, while access to appropriate care for people suffering in pain is not unduly hindered. The drugs that treat pain are essential for society and we don’t want to lose that valuable arsenal. We strongly advocate for safety and effectiveness of all pain treatments." The company that keeps you well financed -- Purdue Pharma lied about the dangers of OxyContin and we are now immersed in prescription drug abuse because of the criminal marketing of OxyContin. Anyone in Congress, the FDA, the FTC or the DEA curious yet as to why the lobbying tactics of the APF are so well funded?:
Four days ago, I emailed the APF and asked them two questions -- one being where were their conferences held in 2011 -- and one being who are the "expert" physicians they use as speakers to advocate for the "undertreatment of pain" in America. I was informed that I would receive a reply as a "media person" within 24 hours. It is now way past 72 hours and still no reply from the APF. Listening yet Congress, FDA, FTC and DEA?
Gil Kerlikowske, the national drug czar, says the current culture of writing narcotic prescriptions for moderate pain, which began about a decade ago, needs to be changed and doctors need to be retrained.
Many pain specialists say narcotic pain relievers should only be used by patients with terminal illnesses, when addiction is not a concern.
So Dr. Fishman here's a question for you -- How can the the APF market for the "undertreatment of pain" in America when we consume 80–90% of the narcotics produced? Maybe I should be asking Congress, the FDA, the FTC and the DEA this question since you may be busy "explaining yourself" to JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and your discrepancy with your financial disclosures as relates to APF. Anyone listening in Congress, FDA, FTC or DEA now?
JAMA.Published onlineSeptember 20, 2011.doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.1398
Incomplete Financial Disclosures in Letter to the Editor
[+] Author Affiliations
To the Editor: I was requested to add 2 financial disclosures related to a letter to the editor1 published in JAMA. I previously disclosed that I authored the Federation of State Medical Board book Responsible Opioid Prescribing and received no royalties. Additionally, I am disclosing that I am president and chair of the board of directors of the American Pain Foundation (a nonprofit foundation that receives some of its support from manufacturers of prescription opioids) for which I received no compensation. However, one time per year I am reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for coach airfare and cab fare for an annual board meeting. I have participated in numerous ACCME-certified continuing medical education activities yearly for which I received market rate honoraria. These programs were organized by academic health systems and/or medical professional organizations and some may have been funded by commercial sources related to opioid prescribing. I have not accepted any funds directly from any commercial sponsors. These disclosures were not originally reported because I did not believe that travel reimbursement and/or CME honoraria from academic health systems or health professional organizations for speaking at ACCME-certified programs required disclosure. I regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate the opportunity to provide an explanation. A correction and related letter appear online, and the original letter to the editor has been corrected online.
Editor's Note: The additional declarations of potential financial conflicts of interest by Dr Fishman, as requested and required by JAMA, highlight our continued commitment to this issue.
Published Online: September 20, 2011. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1398
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The author has completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr Fishman reported having authored the Federation of State Medical Board book Responsible Opioid Prescribing and receiving no royalties; being president and chair of the board of directors of the American Pain Foundation (a nonprofit foundation that receives support from manufacturers of prescription opioids) for which he receives no compensation but is reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for coach airfare and cab fare once per year for a board meeting; and having participated in numerous ACCME-certified continuing medical education activities yearly that are organized by academic health systems and/or medical professional organizations for which he received market rate honoraria, some of which were funded by commercial sources related to opioid prescribing although no funds were accepted directly from any commercial sponsors.
Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.
Financial disclosures? I think it goes beyond that -- where is the money going funneled to the American Pain Foundation by big pharma? Do I have your attention now Congress, FDA, FTC and DEA? I believe you owe something to the American people in keeping them safe as you deal with prescription drug deaths and addictions -- but then do you really buy the "undertreatment of pain" in America in light of the statistics and what you have been witness to in the last decade plus? President Obama's drug czar doesn't buy it and frankly neither do I.
LP -- I am so proud to be a part of your life and for the love and dialogue we share in being so supportive of each other. Yes the word "perfect" definitely applies in so many ways. You are truly my gift from above.
_________________________________Salem-News.com 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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